Haiti Earthquake 2021: A Report from the St. Gabriel the Archangel Haiti Committee

This is a report on the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the country of Haiti on Saturday 8/14, leaving at least 1,297 people dead and more than 5,700 injured, according to the country’s civil protection agency.

The earthquake struck at 8:30 a.m. about 10 kilometers deep, with its epicenter about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) northeast of Saint-Louis-du-Sud in the southwest part of the country. The location was about 60 miles west of the earthquake in 2010. Unfortunately, the epicenter of Saturday’s earthquake was almost a direct hit to our twin parish in Sucrerie Henry.

Our sister parish, St. Anne, has sustained significant damage to all of its buildings, including the church, rectory, school, and clinic. We do not yet have information about the seven chapels. As of this writing, there are no casualties in the parish, but there are many injured people. None of the buildings are safe to be occupied, and the pastor, Father (Pere) Joseph Didier, has been sleeping in his car.

Pere Didier video* showing destruction of the clinic
Pere Didier video* showing destruction of the church

We cannot watch these videos and look at the pictures* that follow without wanting to help in any way we can. At this time, Pere Didier and the St. Anne Parish Council are working through their shock to assess the needs of the parish community. They will report back to us once they can formulate a list. In the meantime, we know there are many immediate medical, housing, food, and sanitation needs. We know the buildings that have been damaged cannot be occupied in their current state. We are utilizing this post to launch a campaign to raise money for the immediate needs of the St. Anne community.

To donate to this campaign, send a check made out to St. Gabriel with “Haiti” in the memo line, to St. Gabriel Church, 151 Mendon Street, Upton, MA 01568 or visit link: https://giving.parishsoft.com/app/Giving/stgabrielgiving and using the dropdown menu under “One Time” then “Fund” choose “Haiti Collection – Monthly” (see image below). Once you enter the donation amount, you will be prompted to choose Credit Card or Bank Account and enter the information as indicated.

To follow are photos taken by Pere Didier on the first day after the earthquake. There will be more throughout the days ahead. The first pictures* show the considerable damage to the church of St. Anne:

The following photos* show the damage to the clinic:

The school at St. Anne has many sections, including the kindergarten, elementary school, high school, and vocational school. These are the school buildings* and their damages:

The last group of images* for now are of the rectory. Normally a two story building, the top floor seems to have collapsed through the first floor. This building is completely devastated.

Ke Bondye beni e pwoteje pep ayiti. (May God bless and protect the people of Haiti)

With sincere appreciation and gratitude for your donation and prayers,

The St. Gabriel Haiti Committee:

Father Larry Brault

Sarah Baldiga (Emeritus)

Verienne Emile

Rodrigue Emile

Alice Gentili

Christine Baldiga

Joan Claflin

Andy Leonard

Pam Kutzer

Fred Randall

*All photos and videos property of Father Joseph Didier

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