In Sad Straits: Tzu Chi USA Rushes Disaster Relief via Land, Air & Sea
San Dimas — A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Haiti on August 14, 2021. It is not the first time a tremor shook this nation, as, in 2010, a severe and deadly magnitude 7.0 earthquake caused tremendous suffering and damages.
Tzu Chi has been helping communities in the island country for more than a decade since then. Thus, it’s no wonder that our local volunteers started assessing damages as soon as the tragedy struck this time.
As a result of the local team’s rapid response, an immediate disaster relief plan plus mid and long-term assistance could be quickly fleshed out. Several disaster aid teams of Tzu Chi USA volunteers arrived in Haiti on September 1, 2021. In collaboration with the local volunteers, they are joining efforts to provide urgent assistance, bringing a ray of hope and relief to the people of Haiti affected by this latest catastrophe.
The earthquake’s epicenter was the town of Petit Trou de Nippes, located around 80 miles west of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. However, the damages sustained in Nippes, with scattered residential housing districts, hardly compare to the death toll and catastrophic situation in two neighboring cities: Les Cayes of Sud Department and Jérémie of Grand’Anse Department.
Tzu Chi USA Headquarters ascertained what the disaster survivors in Haiti need most urgently: local produce and food staples and medical supplies. While local food supplies are being procured in Haiti, in the United States, Tzu Chi Volunteers immediately prepared 6,500 “Family Medical Packs.” With the category 4 Hurricane Ida crashing down in the Gulf of Mexico, they drove all the medical supplies to the harbor in Miami, FL, making urgent shipping arrangements.
Meanwhile, a large volume of Jing Si Rice, Jing Si Multipurpose Foldable Beds, and other disaster supplies arranged by Tzu Chi Global Headquarters in Taiwan have also been airlifted and arrived in Miami, destined for Port-au-Prince. In the first week of September, Tzu Chi USA has scheduled a disaster relief distribution to benefit over 5,000 families while projecting subsequent distributions for over 30,000 families before the end of October.
Tzu Chi’s aid in Haiti is well established and ongoing. Over the past decade, it has included: Rebuilding four schools in Port-au-Prince destroyed in the 2010 earthquake; establishing a Tzu Chi campus warehouse to store and organize relief supplies; and providing regular distributions of rice and essentials to impoverished families, especially in Cite Soleil and La Saline, two slums in Port-au-Prince.
We invite you to support our relief efforts in Haiti, whose people have already suffered so much. To learn more about Tzu Chi’s current earthquake disaster relief plan and past and ongoing aid in Haiti, please visit tzuchi.us/haiti, or to get updates on Tzu Chi USA’s activities, please download our mobile app: Tzu Chi Connect.
Online Donations： donate.tzuchi.us/haiti
Donations on Social Media：facebook.com/TzuChiUSA
Donations via Cellphone Mobile App: Tzu Chi Connect
Donations by Check: Payable to “Tzu Chi” and mailed to the Tzu Chi Chapter nearest you. The addresses can be found here: tzuchi.us/offices