Unlike many places there are not shelters set up for evacuation. Folks near the sea or rivers or in flood plains often have nowhere to go. Many still live in homes made with sticks and mud with dirt floors and some remain in tents. Even those with block houses in low areas can see flash flooding or be hit with a storm surge of 9+ feet. Poor folks put rocks or blocks on their roofs to try to stabilize them in winds....but these, along with pieces of sharp tin, because projectiles in a violent storm.
Living day to day means many people cannot store up food or clean drinking water. Lots of rain means contaminated wells, rivers and ocean, which leads to a lot of sickness after the storm passes. Many people will loose these supplies in flooding, along with medications or important documents.
Medical: Many people in the next few days will need medical help due to injuries occurring from flooding and high winds. But there is also the normal medical needs- mothers delivering babies, severe illnesses, household accidents, needed surgeries...and the storm will make getting medical help very hard. People already in hospitals can be at risk as well..with power outages, wind, rain, staffing issues.... Longer term will be illness from contaminated drinking water [GI and skin issues] as well as increased mosquito born illness from lots of standing water.
Roads: Many Haitian roads were already in poor condition but with heavy rains, erosion, and landslides, driving becomes very dangerous. In the past Route National One-the main road between Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitian in the north was closed for months-and this is the way that fuel is brought to North Haiti. Driving through rivers is common in many areas and flash floods will kill, as can driving through water not knowing if the road remains intact underneath.
Animals: The potential loss of livestock is also high which will impact the food sources and financial health of families for months to years to come. Few will have safe places to put their animals and if they dare to let them roam loose-so that they can reach high ground, some may be stolen.
Gardens: High winds will damage many banana plants, fruit trees, and other crops needed to feed the people in the days to come. Flooding will remain for weeks killing more plants and trees. The high waves and costal storm surge will expose land to higher salt content damaging the soil for a long time.
Crime: As in most areas of the world, a few desperate people will try to take advantage of this crisis to advance themselves by stealing and looting. Local law enforcement will be overwhelmed trying to help people and keep peace.
Politics..next Sunday the redo vote of Presidential elections was to take place. Protests continue leading up to the vote...only the Lord knows what will happen between now and then.
Rarer...some people attempting to cook with charcoal in homes could suffer from smoke, or who use generators in enclosed spaces could be poisoned....in the past some who try to walk through flooded cities can accidentally be electrocuted.
International airports in Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitian will be closed between 6 a.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Wednesday.
At this time predictions are the the eye of H. Matthew will be closest to Haiti at 4 a.m. Tuesday morning. Path could still change.
Many ways to pray. Will try to keep folks updated if our internet continues to work. Praying that after the storm the Lord will show us where, when, and how best to help. Please join us. We want to be used by the Lord to help, showing His love in the midst of crisis.
Surrounded by His loving arms, held in His mighty hands..knowing He is our fortress, our refuge, and able to calm the storm if He choses and if not...He will help us through every minute of the stormy gale.