Almost 2 Weeks After The Quake, Aid Is Just Getting To Some Remote Towns In Haiti

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Families wait to receive humanitarian aid from a U.S. Army helicopter unit in the town of Baradères, Haiti, on Wednesday.

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A U.S. Army helicopter unit unloaded boxes of humanitarian aid to the remote town of Baradères, Haiti, located northeast of Les Cayes on Wednesday.

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Latin America
Tensions In Haiti Build Over The Lack Of Earthquake Aid As Deaths Pass 2,000

Haiti’s mountainous southern peninsula is full of small communities that are typically accessible only by dirt road or footpaths. This month’s earthquake shook loose mudslides and rocks that are now blocking access. In this region, there are few airfields, and the steep, wooded terrain makes for difficult landing by helicopter. In many places, the only clearing large enough for a helicopter to land is the town soccer field.

As a result, towns like Baradères – a small village tucked in a mountain valley, whose population of roughly 2,000 people are mostly subsistence farmers living in simple, fragile homes made of concrete blocks and sheet metal – have had to wait a week or more for significant aid to begin arriving.

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An aerial view of a remote town of Baradères.

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The U.S. Coast Guard and the Haitian Red Cross transport a patient to a tent hospital to be treated for their injuries sustained in the recent 7.2 magnitude earthquake, at the Toussaint Louverture International Airport, in Port-Au-Prince on Wednesday.

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World
At A Local Hospital In Haiti’s Hard-Hit Southwest The Injured Continue To Arrive

Adding to the desperation is the fact that this region was previously devastated by Hurricane Matthew in 2016. In Baradères, about 90% of families who’d owned farms, gardens or livestock had them wiped out by the Category 4 storm, one aid group found.

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A healthcare worker from HERO, an emergency medical ambulance and medevac service, transports families to a tent hospital at the Toussaint Louverture International Airport, in Port-Au-Prince on Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
Hurricane Matthew Leaves Hundreds Dead In Haiti; Homes And Crops Are Devastated

Some aid distributions in recent days have been chaotic. Crowds have swarmed aid trucks and airfields. In the southwest port city of Les Cayes, a fight broke out when a bodyguard traveling with former president Michel Martelly handed out an envelope of cash. Gang activity has plagued many roads in the country, including the main highway from Port-au-Prince to Les Cayes, and charities have reported looting of trucks carrying aid.

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Families wait to receive humanitarian aid from a U.S. Army helicopter unit in the town of Anse-A-Veau, Haiti, on Wednesday.

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A U.S. Navy helicopter unit, USAID and other support groups prepare to deliver humanitarian aid to remote Haitian towns which were affected by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake, at the Toussaint Louverture International Airport, in Port-Au-Prince on Wednesday.

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Families wait to receive humanitarian aid from a U.S. Army helicopter unit in the town of Anse-A-Veau, Haiti, on Wednesday.

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Environment
Why Earthquakes In Haiti Are So Catastrophic

«We have a lot of victims,» he said. «And we are in a situation where people were already in need. People are hungry, and they need help. As long as we receive aid, we will use it.»

Additional reporting and production of the radio version of this story by Christina Cala.

  • Haiti earthquake
  • Haiti

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