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Gustav and Hanna Devastate Haiti
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Leslie A. Smith
 
September 4, 2008

In the last two weeks, Haiti has been given a one-two punch from Hurricane Gustav and Tropical Storm Hanna. The rains from Gustav had barely ceased before Hanna slowly passed over Haiti’s northern coast, dropping enormous amounts of rain and causing massive flooding across the country.

Prepping the Emergency Response Vehicle for deployment
Hurricane Gustav and Tropical Storm Hanna caused major flooding in the town of Gonaives, Haiti, that left many stranded and without access to aid.
Photo: Matthew Marek/American Red Cross

The storms have taken a devastating toll on Haiti’s population. The Haitian government is reporting that nearly 80 people are dead or missing, and almost 7,000 remain in emergency shelters. According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, approximately 650,000 people are at risk—floods and landslides have damaged or destroyed homes, hospitals, buildings and roads, making it difficult to access areas in need of help.

The American Red Cross has two staff members based in Haiti who are working closely with the Haitian Red Cross Society to help with their disaster response.

Prepping the Emergency Response Vehicle for deployment
Hurricane Gustav and Tropical Storm Hanna caused major flooding in the town of Gonaives, Haiti, that left many stranded and without access to aid.
Photo: Matthew Marek/American Red Cross

"Many areas are simply inaccessible on the ground. Right now we’re working with our international partners to assess the damage and help get relief to everyone who needs it," said Matthew Marek, Head of Programs in Haiti for the American Red Cross, who viewed the devastation from the air.

In addition to its staff based in the country, the American Red Cross is deploying two disaster relief specialists who will join the team on the ground in assessing the needs and providing relief.

As the hurricane season continues to take a toll on the Caribbean, the American Red Cross is also contributing $100,000 to help replenish pre-positioned relief stocks in both Haiti and Jamaica.

You can help the victims of countless crises around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation by either contacting 1-800-HELP NOW or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish), or mailing your donation with the designation to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013 or to your local American Red Cross chapter. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.



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