The group, which departed the Dominican Republic's capital of Santo Domingo early Friday, January 15, arrived at the border town of Jimani, about 150 miles from Port-au-Prince, during late morning to find scores of Haitian refugees entering the Dominican Republic on foot and by car in search of medical care at a local medical clinic. According to a first hand report, severely injured survivors were being airlifted from Haiti aboard helicopters and brought to Jimani, which serves as one of two main cross border thoroughfares, where a unit from the Puerto Rico U.S. Air National Guard has set-up a command center.
"There are a lot of people leaving Haiti. Many are injured, including children, and they need immediate assistance," said John Torres, Senior Public Relations Manager for ADRA International, who is traveling with the team.
According to Torres, the situation on the ground is dismal, especially in Port-au-Prince where the team arrived at approximately 3:30pm local time. Buildings have been destroyed, fuel shortages are widespread, and the humanitarian situation has become severe.
"There are a lot of dead people," said Torres while driving through Port-au-Prince Friday afternoon aboard an ADRA convoy. "It looks like the city has been bombed. People are trying to dig by hand and move the crushed concrete. On the grounds of the presidential palace, thousands of people are staying in makeshift shelters."
During its initial response, the agency expects to distribute more than 2 million water purification tablets, provide medical treatment through a team of doctors and emergency medical technicians, and dispense antibiotics, over-the-counter medications, and other medical assistance. ADRA has already committed $1 million to its response in Haiti, and more aid is expected to arrive shortly.
To send your contribution to ADRA's Haiti Earthquake Response Fund, please contact ADRA at 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) or give online at www.adra.org.
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ADRA is a non-governmental organization present in 125 countries providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race or ethnicity.
For more information about ADRA, visit www.adra.org.
Author: Nadia McGill
For more information, contact:
John Torres, Senior Public Relations Manager