On Saturday, Oct. 6 at 8:11 PM, a 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck the northern coast of Haiti. It was felt across various cities including Port-au-Prince. Panic and chaos immediately ensued with people running into the streets and jumping from buildings. Residents reported feeling several tremors later that night. The quake was one of the strongest to hit Haiti since the 2010 quake. It was followed by two aftershocks on Sunday, the larger with a magnitude of 5.2.
Damage to other facilities meant Centre Médical Béraca became the main care-providing facility. Due to the rapid influx of victims our emergency room was full yet the staff managed to provide care to all. 130 patients were cared for with needs ranging from panic attacks to head trauma and major fractures. Of the 130, twelve had surgery and are recovering at CMB. Four patients with complex injuries were airlifted to Port au Prince after stabilization. Four patients were dead on arrival but fortunately there have not been any deaths among the patients admitted to CMB.
The aftershock on Sunday produced additional victims with twenty three additional patients seeking care. It was exciting to see the response of many national organizations (government agencies and NGOs) who came along side to help.
Damage to our infrastructure was minimal. One CMB building housing physicians sustained minor damages. However, there are reports in our town of collapsed walls and houses. So far, 110 families have been relocated.
The recent events have opened our eyes at CMB as to how we can be better prepared for natural disasters. To that end we will be setting up a natural disaster response team. Additional considerations include a mobile operating room, blood banking and an ambulance service.
We thank God especially in times like this for Centre Médical Béraca and its staff that do a wonderful job of serving and reaching out to the La Pointe community showing them the love of Christ. We thank God for protecting the whole CMB family as not one person from the staff was injured. It was beautiful to see all the nurses and doctors and other volunteers come together in this time of serious need. We pray for peace for those who are still traumatized by the events as some are still afraid to be near and inside of buildings. We pray for comfort for those in mourning and healing for those recovering whether at home or in the hospital. Many of the supplies used were donated to CMB and enabled us to provide this care free of charge and for this we are grateful. We want to thank you, our friends, sponsors and partners for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers and for your financial and material support.