Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Haitians return to earthquake-damaged churches, gangs offer help

by Evans Sanon and Marco Alvarez | The Associated Press

LES CAYES, Haiti – The leader of a Haitian gang on Sunday offered a ceasefire and help to communities shattered by the devastating earthquake – potentially offering a break for a relief effort that was marred by hijacked aid trucks and disorder is afflicted.

The proposal came as many Haitians resumed services in or outside damaged churches, sometimes for the first time since the August 14 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The country’s civil protection agency also raised the death toll to 2,207.

It was not immediately clear how much of an impact the ceasefire proposal could have: while powerful, Jimmy Cherzier, aka “Barbecue”, is far from the only gang leader in Haiti and widely repeated in social media reports. The earlier gangs have failed to stop the truce attacks. On expansion of relief work.

Gangs have blocked roads, hijacked aid trucks and stole supplies, forcing relief workers to chop supplies. There was a scuffle in the desperate crowd over food bags from place to place.

“We want to let them know that the G9 revolutionary forces and allies, for all and for all, are responsible for their pain and suffering,” Cherzier said in a Facebook video addressing the hardest-hit parts of Haiti’s southwestern peninsula on Sunday. sympathize with.”

“The G9 Revolutionary Forces and allies…will take part in the relief by bringing their help. We invite all compatriots to show solidarity with the victims and try to share what they have.”

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The rise in the death toll came for the first time since late Wednesday night when the government put it at 2,189. The government said on Sunday that 344 people were still missing, 12,268 were injured and about 53,000 homes were destroyed by the quake.

In Les Cayes, many people joined the church to mourn the fallen and give thanks for their own survival.

At an evangelical church in the Burgaud neighborhood, parishioners sang hymns under sunlight streaming through holes in ceilings and walls.

Pastor Severin Mark Dix Jonas said Sunday’s service was special because his congregation had so far been unable to meet since the earthquake.

“Today was a must,” said Dix Jonas, standing under a high opening in the façade of his church. “To thank God. He protected us. We didn’t die.”

His church was one of the few where congregations could worship inside. In many other places, services were held in the street outside the collapsed sanctuaries.

Nation World News Desk
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