Cornwall disaster relief charity to send team to earthquake-hit Haiti

Earthquake Haiti
The ShelterBox team will assess damage reports and understand from communities what they need. Credit: ITV News

Cornwall-based disaster relief charity ShelterBox is preparing to send a team to Haiti following a significant earthquake.

The seismic tremor devastated the Caribbean area on Saturday 14 August, registering a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter scale.

Haiti is now in the path of Tropical Storm Grace and survivors of the earthquake could be further affected by strong winds, driving rains, flooding and deadly mudslides.

Many will be facing these conditions with their homes already destroyed while 1,200 people have already died and the death toll is thought to climb.

The ShelterBox team will work with fellow humanitarians to assess damage reports and understand from communities what they need.

Alison Jefferson, ShelterBox Head of Responses, said: "The earthquake hit Haiti and it hit hard. Almost a million people need support. We know that will include shelter.

Early reports show that almost 3,000 homes have been destroyed and at least 5,400 more damaged. Credit: ITV News

"Our teams are working round the clock to understand how to get the right air to the people in Haiti.

"The rubble of the disaster zone is no place to shelter from a tropical storm, let along try and continue rescuing survivors. We will do everything we can to reach vulnerable communities after they have suffered so much."

The charity will work on challenging logistics of delivering aid to areas where buildings have been reduced to rubble.

This will be the first time ShelterBox has deployed a team since the coronavirus crisis severely restricted international travel in early 2020.

ShelterBox have responded several times to Haiti, including in the aftermath of the catastrophic 2010 earthquake.

The charity will be using everything it has learned, and its close partnership with Rotary International, to forge local connections and make sure the right emergency shelter reaches communities when they need it.