Tornado strikes northwest Haiti

The sky grew dark in the middle of the day as the people of Bassin Bleu, Haiti, looked on. It looked like a rainstorm was coming. Moments later they watched in terror as a powerful twister started violently blowing trees and roofs around like they were leaves.

The tornado struck on May 21 and lasted only six minutes. But to hundreds of Haitians, it no doubt seemed like hours as they wondered, what is happening? Where is my family? Am I going to die today?

More than 125 people were injured, and 300 families are now homeless. More than 270 homes were partially or completely destroyed by the tornado.

Few other organizations are helping because a gang controls the main road to town. Our Haitian staff journeyed to the disaster region to evaluate the damage and determine the needs. They had to find a back road through the mountains to get there safely. Pray for wisdom, safety, and strength for them as they continue to travel to the area to help.

The struggle has just begun

“At first, I thought it was just going to rain,” Mireline, a mother of four, told United Nations workers in Haiti. “I noticed the sky had turned dark. Within moments, the roof flew off, and I was hit by a strong gust of wind right in my home. I saw our mattress fly away, and then the whole house crumbled on us.”

 A sad young woman told our staff, “I was inside my house when suddenly I saw the metal roof fly off. Now I don’t have anywhere to go. When it rains, it rains on me. The wind took all my stuff. I have only the clothes on my back. I have no one to help me. Someone found my ID in the bush, but all my other important documents are gone.”

Affliction is no stranger to Haiti

Years of gang violence and political unrest have ravaged the land, bringing hunger, poverty, and destitution. Families frequently find themselves in the crossfire between armed groups seeking to extend control over new territories. The country’s dysfunctional government is powerless to end the terror. Frequent natural disasters cause ongoing loss and disruption. Many of the tornado survivors were facing the effects of the political and economic crisis before the storm happened.

Responding to the needs

Many owners lack the means to rebuild their homes. To give Haitians a source of income, we plan to hire locals to build sturdy two-room houses and repair roofs on salvageable houses. The average cost to build one home is $6,500, and to repair a roof cost $2,000. Along with the rebuilding project, we plan to distribute Bibles and Christian literature to homeowners. Our prayer is that physical aid will reveal the greater gift of God’s love. Pray that, in the instability of their country, people in Haiti would find true peace in Jesus.

Our budget for this project is $300,000. CAM’s goal is to rebuild 30 houses and repair 60 roofs. If you would like to help with these rebuilding efforts, your support will be a blessing.

If you wish to help repair or rebuild homes and distribute Bibles and Christian literature, click the donate button to give a gift.