Operation Blessing teams continue to assist victims of earthquake in Haiti; focusing on medical care and clean water

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Nearly two weeks after a major earthquake rocked Haiti, killing thousands of people, recovery efforts are still underway.

More than 2,200 people died after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck on Aug. 14.

Virginia Beach-based Operation Blessing sent a disaster relief team last week.

“You cannot imagine when you go to a house and they told you that three people of the same family died,” said Emmanuela Delsoin, the national director of Operation Blessing Haiti.

Days later, Tropical Storm Grace struck, leading to mudslides and flooding.

It’s devastating for Haitian residents.

“In Haiti, we are facing too many bad situations,” said Delsoin.

Her team left Port-au-Prince and headed south just one day after the earthquake.

“So far, we have distributed about 300 kits and the kits that we provide, they have food and hygiene items to cover for one week for a family of five people,” Delsoin said.

Their work continues to expand.

“We have a team doing medical brigades in remote areas for those people, because now the hospitals are collapsed and they are receiving more patients than usual, so that’s why there is a big need for medical brigades,” Delsoin said.

She says the work is challenging but worth it.

“So it’s raining and the population, they don’t have a roof to stay and so far, we cannot provide tents and that is a feeling of powerlessness,” said Delsoin.

For Delsoin, these feelings and images aren’t new. She is from Haiti and lived in Port-au-Prince in 2010 when the earthquake struck the capital city.

“It seems that I recall all of the feelings and when I got to the ground, it was very terrible,” Delsoin said.

The team plans to stay until Sept. 15 but will help as long as they are needed.

COVID-19 is another challenge they are dealing with. There’s not a lot of room for people to stay distanced. The Operation Blessing teams have oxygen and other supplies to assist the COVID-19 clinics.

For more information on Operation Blessing and how to donate, click here.

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