Haiti: Tropical Storm Isaac update

Patrick Senia is Handicap International's Program Director in Haiti. He sent this update following Tropical Storm Isaac's landfall in Haiti:

“First, let me thank you all sincerely for the messages of support we have received. This is very reassuring and very motivating.

"The night between Friday and Saturday was very impressive, as we had strong winds and torrential rains. Luckily, local authorities did a good job and provincial correspondents from the National Television broadcasted constant updates on Isaac's progress, allowing us to stay informed about the situation.

"According to the provisional authorities, 19 people were killed and 14,000 were displaced as a result of the storm. The most serious damage occurred outside of the capital city. In addition to the casualties, houses were destroyed and many ranchers and farmers have lost their crops and livestock. Our teams, specializing in emergency response operations, are assessing the damages in the West, South East and Nippes regions. These teams are also assisting local authorities on emergency assistance operations carried out in favor of the most affected populations.

"In Port-au-Prince where I am now, the damages are less serious: still, trees have fallen, and high voltage lines were cut, plunging most of the city into the dark. Civil Protection and the National Police were in the streets all night and the roads were cleared as and when obstructed. Electricity is now gradually returning, neighborhood by neighborhood.

"As for our people, all Handicap International staff members are safe. Our Haitian and expatriate colleagues are safe and sound, and our buildings held up well.

"We were able to resume our activities and assist our beneficiaries normally from Monday morning.

"Thank you all! Yours sincerely,