IOCC Responds to Path of Destruction Left by Hurricane Matthew
October 7, 2016
Baltimore, MD — As Hurricane Matthew pummels the Florida coast with 100-mile-per-hour winds and powerful storm surges that threaten families along the Florida, Georgia and Carolinas coastal cities, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is monitoring the rapidly evolving situation and stands ready to respond with humanitarian relief.
IOCC is in contact with Orthodox parishes located in Haiti, the Bahamas, and along the southeastern coast of the US, as well as with local relief partners to determine the most appropriate response. The IOCC Emergency Response Network Frontliners living in the affected area have been called on for possible deployment as the needs emerge. “We send our thoughts and prayers to those who have lost loved ones to the storm and to the families who have been affected by this disaster,” stated IOCC Executive Director and CEO Constantine Triantafilou. “IOCC is committed to working with our Orthodox Church community and local ecumenical partners to do our part in helping those impacted.”
Hurricane Matthew has already left more than 500 people dead in Haiti and one in the US, and caused massive power outages and property damage as the deadly storm makes it way north. In Haiti, IOCC relief partners are on the ground assessing the immediate needs of thousands of families left homeless from the hurricane’s destruction. One of the hardest hit areas is the southwest peninsula between Les Cayes and Jacmel in the southern region of the country where there is widespread loss of homes, buildings, and crops. Roads and bridges have been destroyed, cutting off access to the area, and communications have been disrupted. Archpriest John Chenier Dumais, the national representative of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) mission in Haiti, describes the aftermath of Matthew’s wrath: “There are no casualties in the mission that we know of so far, but there is material damage in churches, schools, and homes. In southern Haiti, we count dozens of dead and wounded and a lot of material damage. We rely on your humble prayers and your support.”
Immediate concerns are focused on shelter, clean water, health, sanitation, and food. Health is a particular concern, as Haiti has been experiencing a spike in cholera cases recently which will only be exacerbated by the impacts of the hurricane. The Haitian government and the international aid community are working now to fully assess the impact.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Your gift to the Hurricane Matthew Emergency Response Fund helps us react quickly and respond effectively when emergencies strike. Your help will provide immediate relief such as emergency aid and recovery assistance, as well as long-term support to help those in need.