Message on behalf of:
Heather Vallier, OTA President
Rick Coughlin, Humanitarian Committee Chair
Roman Hayda, Disaster Management and Emergency Preparedness Committee Chair
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
On Saturday, August 14th, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Haiti near Les Cayes. Casualty reports have climbed from 300 to now over 1300 deaths. Haiti’s Office of Civil Protection reports 5700 injured. As in the earthquake a decade ago, many of you may be moved to try to assist.
It is fortunate that the casualty rates are not as high as in the previous earthquake in which many OTA members participated in disaster care. At present, the OTA is not involved in any formal disaster relief effort. The US government, to our knowledge, also has not sent any medical disaster relief teams at the time of this writing. Numerous appeals from NGOs and disaster relief organizations have already been made, largely for donations of supplies and funding. A simple search of the Web will innumerate. There are many relief organizations who are familiar with Haiti, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Doctors without Borders (MSF), SIGN Fracture Care, FOT, etc.
The OTA cautions its generous members on travel to Haiti unless with a well-established relief organization due to inadvertent local burden and significant security and personal safety concerns. Political chaos and instability, due to the recent presidential assassination, and current COVID rates are a reality.