Surveying Erika Damage in Dominica

Our team on the island of Dominica has gotten an up-close look at the damage caused by Tropical Storm Erika.  The island nation’s government called for help. Heart to Heart International was the only international NGO to respond.

Dominca Bridge pano

Residents view what remains of a bridge washed away by flash floods caused by Tropical Storm Erika.

 

When Erika struck Dominica, she dropped 15 inches of rain, causing flash flooding and mudslides on the tiny, mountainous Caribbean island. More than 30 people were killed and 35 people remain missing.   While Erika was only a tropical storm, it caused major issues for this small island with a population just more than 70,000.

The governments of Venezuela, Martinique and Guadeloupe responded with heavy equipment and personnel to help clear roads and the island’s main airport.  Cuba responded with a large team of medical responders.  The British Royal Air Force is also assisting, as is the US Coast Guard.

And as our team learned, so far, HHI is the only international non-governmental organization (NGO) to respond to the disaster. On the ground, our team is coordinating with the Dominica Ministry of Health and with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) from the UN.

Drying out

In Coulibistre, Dominica, residents place their belongings outside to dry in the Caribbean sun after Erika’s rains flooded their homes.

 

HHI is providing a relief shipment of Heart to Heart Care Kits, requested by the Dominica Ministry of Health, and is already en route, transported by our global partner FedEx.

Support Relief Aid for Dominica & Keep HHI Prepared for the Next Storm

The storm’s effect will long be felt in Dominica and residents have a long road of rebuilding ahead.  As HHI is committed to help people in crisis, we’re honored to be able to assist in this relief effort.

See more photos from our team in Dominica…

A local newspaper sums up the feelings of the people of Dominica toward Tropical Storm Erika.

A local newspaper sums up the feelings of the people of Dominica toward Tropical Storm Erika.

 

Mudslide mess in Dominica

A muddy mess left behind in Dominica thanks to Tropical Storm Erika’s floods and mudslides.

 

Two Erika survivors

Two women recount the tale of Erika flooding this home. Notice the dried mud below their feet, and the mud and high-water mark on the far wall.

 

Dominica Street

Streets in Dominica are clogged by mud and dirt from mudslides caused by Tropical Storm Erika.

 

Photos by Josh Jakobitz / HHI

 

 

 

 

Tropical Storm Erika Pounds Dominica

A HHI Advance Team is on the way to Dominica.

floodwaters Dominica

Floodwaters rush by damaged homes in Dominica.

 

So far, Erika has claimed 20 lives on this tiny island.

Before it dissipated, Tropical Storm Erika dropped more than a foot of rain onto Dominica in the eastern Caribbean.  It’s a mountainous island and Erika caused flash floods and mudslides, heavy rains washed away homes, belongings and damaged communities.

Our Advance Team is on the way.  Their task is to determine the exact needs of the people of Dominica and pave the way for relief supplies from HHI.

Please help us respond.  Donate to Dominica Relief.

 

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Heart to Heart Responds in Haiti

Photo credit: Reuters

New Photos below, just arrived from the town of Belle Anse, on Haiti’s southern coast.  Heart to Heart supports community clinics in the area…

Tropical Storm Isaac has moved on from Haiti, but its effects may long be felt.

Haiti is a country where a large section of the population hangs in the balance.  Their future dictated, many times, by the forces of nature: an earthquake, a tropical cyclone…

Fortunately, Isaac did not do great damage to most of the country, however in the South and in the Southeast he did bring near-hurricane strength winds and torrential rains.  Residents suffered the loss of homes (shelters), their livelihoods in the form of crops, and are now at risk of diseases like cholera rearing their ugly heads once again.

Heart to Heart is uniquely positioned as the lead NGO in the remote and mountainous Southeast District to respond to the needs of residents.  And we are doing just that – Responding!

Currently, Heart to Heart is coordinating with in-country partners to deliver relief supplies, in a replay of the supply chain that helped to stem the outbreak of cholera in this same area in 2010/2011.  And like then, it is imperative that these supplies reach these remote communities.

“There are no other relief groups in those mountains, we’re it,” said Heart to Heart’s Dir. of Operations in Haiti Josh Jakobitz. “And is always the case with diseases like cholera and natural disasters like Isaac, speed is of the essence. If Heart to Heart is able to respond, people live.”

Speed is of the essence.  So is your support.

Note:  Heart to Heart International is also following Isaac’s movement as it pushes into the Gulf of Mexico.  HHI is planning a mobilization to the Gulf Coast, as needed, possibly consisting of humanitarian relief supplies, medical aid and our Mobile Medical Unit.

DW HHI

Heart to Heart CEO on TS Isaac

Here at Heart to Heart we are keeping a watchful eye on Tropical Storm Isaac.  It continues to bear down on Haiti, with its sights set on the Gulf Coast.
Below is a letter, just sent to donors and supporters, from HHI’s CEO Andre Butler as we prepare to mobilize.

DW HHI

Dear Friends,

As of this writing, a tropical cyclone is gathering strength in the Caribbean and churning toward Haiti and eventually the U.S.’s Gulf Coast. The storm is named Isaac, and within hours we will know what damage the storm will bring to Haiti.

We at Heart to Heart International are following these weather developments very closely as we have friends, family and coworkers in Haiti right now in the path of this storm, along with the thousands of Haitians we serve.

Our Haiti staff will ride out this storm. They have made plans and storm preparations, as they continue to oversee the operations of the 12 community clinics we partner with and continue to support with volunteers and with medical aid.
These clinics are found across Haiti: in the capital of Port-au-Prince, in the Leogane area and in the very rural and mountainous SE District. All of these areas are in the path of Isaac and could very well be affected by the storm’s high winds, torrential rain and subsequent flooding.

From there, Isaac has set his sights on the Florida Keys, and then the Gulf Coast of Florida and Alabama. The storm is predicted to become a hurricane by the time it reaches the mainland.

We are preparing to mobilize the assets we have, including the Mobile Medical Unit, medical aid, volunteers and Heart to Heart Care Kits, to respond as needed.

Our mission in Haiti, our mission in the U.S., is to improve health and to broaden access to healthcare. Isaac may try to disrupt that. But with your continued support and assistance we won’t let it.

Please give now so that we may respond in the wake of Isaac, in both Haiti and the U.S., and prepare for the storms to come.

Sincerely,
Andre Butler
CEO – Heart to Heart International

 

 

 

Here’s how to make a difference now, to help us prepare to respond:

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