Haiti – On a rainy Saturday evening (October 6), an earthquake of 5.9 on the Richter scale struck northwest of Haiti. According to the latest information, there are 12 dead and over 180 injured in the country. The team of the Archdiocesan Charity Olomouc (ACHO) also experienced shaking of the soil, when they came to the Caribbean for a month check of all Caritas projects and organize treatments for people in need in remote areas. The shaking of the soil repeated also on Sunday.

The sounds seemed to be buzzing beneath the ground

The first tremors of the soil were experienced by ACHO humanitarian Klára Lőffelmannová with a doctor Josef Marada during a working meeting in Haiti, Port au Prince. It was Saturday, 8:11 pm local time. “The earth has shaken heavily beneath us, it has taken only a few seconds, and it has not been repeated. The next day we went further north, to Gonaïves, where we support children in education with Czech donors. Here we learned that the earth trembled much stronger and also longer – about 2 minutes. People heard loud noises that seemed to come from underground, reminiscent of a passing truck,” says Klára Lőffelmannová. Minor upheavals then repeated in Gonaïves at two o’clock in the morning. Centre of St. Joseph and the school supported by Caritas resisted the earthquake.

The Charity team could convinced themselves that the newly built center is stable against the earthquake. After they arrived at Gonaïves on Sunday, it started to rain and the ground began to shake again. “We ran out of the building. The tremors lasted a few seconds, but they were stronger than the ones we experienced on Saturday at Port au Prince. According to the locals, they were weaker than the ones on Saturday. Hopefully it will not repeat,” adds Klára Lőffelmannová.

The Olomouc Archdiocesan Charity team is mainly located in the northwest of Haiti, where an epicenter was found. About 19 km from Port de Paix, which is the city that was most damaged. In the capital of Port au Prince, the earthquake did not do much damage.

Archdiocesan Caritas Olomouc was in Haiti immediately after Hurricane Matthew in 2016, when the disaster hit 2.5 million people who lost their shelter and livelihood. Furthermore, in 2010, when the devastating earthquake of 7 degrees on the Richter scale spun with the island state, it claimed more than 220 000 casualties. For over 10 years, ACHO has been helping poor Haitians and providing education to children through the Child Sponsorship project.

Karolína Opatřilová, Archdiocesan Charity Olomouc