Hurricane Tomas has made landfall in Haiti, and Catholic Relief Services is prepared to respond to the emergency throughout the country.
Les Cayes, in the southwest region of Haiti, is the area of primary concern at this point, but damaging rain and wind are expected to affect most of Haiti.
CRS has been preparing for assault from storms since the first weeks after the January earthquake devastated the nation. In recent months, CRS has assessed the ability of camps in Port-au-Prince to respond to a major storm. CRS staff has been digging drainage channels, sandbagging hills, building walls to decrease water runoff and moving the most vulnerable families to more secure locations.
In preparation for the hurricane, CRS Haiti stockpiled emergency supplies and readied staff. Emergency food supplies are in place for 25,000 families, and other items such as hygiene kits, blankets, tarps and soap are ready to be distributed.
CRS is also monitoring Hurricane Tomas’ affect on the recent cholera outbreak in Haiti. Cholera is spread mainly through water, and the additional rain in areas with poor sanitation could accelerate the infection rate. CRS has helped efforts to contain the outbreak and keep it from large camps in Port-au-Prince.
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