We have received several emails and social media posts about information provided sources on the ground in Haiti. See our complete Haiti earthquake coverage here.
UPDATED 8:10PM EST
Dear Family and Friends,
We thank you for your concern and your prayers following the earthquake in Haiti for our daughter, Lisa Anne, and grandson, Nady, and for all the people in Haiti.
We received a phone call around 5 pm our time today from our friend, Commissaire Phirma (a Cameroonian with the UN Police Section). Nady is OK and is with him and colleagues. But Lisa is one of many who did not survive the collapse of the human rights section building in which she was attending a meeting when the earthquake struck.
Arrangements have not been made yet. We will keep you informed.
Lisa was a Human Rights Officer (Team Leader of the Policy and Planning Unit) with MINUSTAH (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti). Nady, now 10 and in CM2 at the French school (final year of primary), has been with her since September 2007.
Samuel, Helena and Leontyne
[Helena Mbele-Mbong is deputy from the Convocation of American Churches in Europe.]
UPDATED 6:45PM EST
From an email from Karen Knisely: We heave heard from the folks at Maison de Naissance – their website
“We write to reassure you that we have made contact with our staff at Maison de Naissance in Larnage, which is approximately 100 miles west of Port au Prince. Our staff and facility are safe!
To our current knowledge, the effects of the earthquake were minor in our area of service compared to the damage sustained in Port au Prince. There was shaking and creaking, but we are not aware of life threatening injuries or severe damage.
While we are grateful that our birthing home and staff are safe at this time, please remember that our staff has many family members and friends – and we have many friends – in the affected area. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”
Addendum. Episcopal Life Online has a very good report just up.
Virginia Theological Seminary shares this perspective from David Kesner:
As you know Port Au Prince got the worst in yesterday’s earthquake in Haiti. This will be a terrible situation. Infrastructure is bad at best and is now non- existent in the main centers of PAP.. there will be little in communications, roads and transportation for some time. Clean up will be difficult because the roads and for now the port and main Airport are out. Sea it would seem will be the best means of transportation. Water and food supplies and health will be rapidly compromised and disease from decomposition and in general will rise. The Port and Airport are said to have taken damage… but the Airport is in a flat plain and should be able to open soon… Most roads in the center of town will be clogged.
PAP is built around a series of hillsides that drain down to the port area and the center of town. The Presidents Palace which is near the water in the old flatter part of town sustained significant damage… the Episcopal Cathedral, the Episcopal University, St Vincent’s Hospital are in this area ..so one must assume significant damage to them and the area. We are told the Cathedral is left to a few timbers. The main PAP Hospital is also in this area and it seems this took significant damage as well.
As many know the wealthy live up in Petionville which is toward the epicenter of the quake. P-ville is on a hill overlooking downtown Port Au Prince Haiti. We have stayed in the Hotel Montana in Petionville. This structure we are advised sustained severe damage… the Hotel is built on a steep hillside and must have cascaded down. Some 200 people in the Hotel are said to have been injured or have died. Further down the road the Episcopal Diocese has its relatively new HQ… It would not be surprising if this structure and its neighborhood are not badly damaged. With all the roads in this area on hillsides and relatively narrow… if buildings collapsed roads will be impassable.
So what to expect and what can we do: Episcopal Relief and Development is working rapidly to deploy its capability and should be seen as a good avenue for giving… but we should strive to give directly to the Episcopal Diocese in Haiti as well … Our Friend Pere Kesner Ajax can be our conduit for this connection as he runs the Partner Program. I would fully expect that the Diocese’s Hospital St Croix in Leogane will be fully mobilized if it is not damaged as it has been shuttered for some time and it remains one of this is the nearest large Hospital outside of PAP… so donations to our friends that run this are also an option.
My expectation is that things will be much worse than we can imagine and time will bear this out.. Please pray hard for these dear people they have been through so much and this will be the worst for them.
via email from Serena Beeks, Executive Director of the Schools Commission in the Diocese of Los Angeles
You may know that the Episcopal Church is a significant force in Haiti, operating 250 schools and numerous clinics and hospitals, among other ministries. Our Haitian brothers and sisters are working under terrible conditions to recover from this disaster.
I bid your specific prayers for the following Episcopal schools from which we have as yet no word:
St. Vincent’s School for the Handicapped (deaf, blind, and orthopedically handicapped) – the only school of its kind in Haiti, St. Vincent’s is located two blocks from the National Palace, which has been destroyed, and three blocks from the Catholic Cathedral, also reported destroyed. It is a residential school, so although it was late afternoon, many children would have been present. Pray for the students, staff, and Pere Sadoni, the director.
Holy Trinity School, Music School, and Trade School – located in the same area; music students would have been practicing and having lessons. Pray for the students, staff, and Pere Fernande Sanon, the director.
The rural schools in and near Darbonne, Leogane, and Chateau-Gaillard – these schools are located approximately on the epicenter of the earthquake. Pray for all of the students and staff as well as the clergy who are responsible for them.
If you or your school want to help, immediate assistance will need to come from those already on the ground in Haiti: Within an hour after the quake, Partners in Health was mobilizing to set up an emergency hospital in Port-au-Prince near the destroyed UN Peacekeepers’ Headquarters. Partners in Health is the organization which runs the hospital in Cange described in Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains, supported in great measure by the Presbyterian and Episcopal churches. www.pih.org
Long term, the rebuilding efforts will be enormous. Please consider a partnership for your school with a Haitian school. The entire country will be struggling for a long time with the strain of feeding and housing its citizens.
Thank you for your prayers and concern for our Haitian brothers and sisters.
email from Lauren Stanley
He says the following:
Bishop Duracin is alive. Madame Duracin, his wife, injured her foot but is otherwise OK. The sisters at the convent are alive.
However, the rest of the news is devasting:
The damage in Port au Prince and areas around it is terrible.
There is no Cathedral. The entire Holy Trinity complex is gone. The convent for the Sisters of St. Margaret [more at its website, including opportunity to donate] is gone. The Bishop’s house is gone. College St. Pierre is gone.
The apartment for College St. Pierre is still standing. Bishop no longer has a house in which to live.
In Trouin, four people were killed during a service. In Grand Colline, the church is gone. In St. Etienne, the church is gone. In Les Cayes, BTI is OK, but some people were injured trying to get out of the buildings during the quake. The rectory in Les Cayes is fine.
Trinity Wall Street has a post on information of this kind that it has gathered in this: “The Very Rev. Oge Beauvoir’s daughter reports that she has heard, through family members, that Dean Beauvoir and his wife, Serette, are alive and have gathered with other Port-au-Prince earthquake survivors at a university football field.”