Located in one of the cities hardest hit by Saturday’s deadly earthquake, the newest radio station of TWR’s national partner in Haiti remains on the air reaching out to traumatized listeners.
4VEH is headquartered in Cap-Haïtien, on the northern side of Haiti, while new station 98.5 FM is located in the southwestern city of Les Cayes, where the main force of the magnitude 7.2 quake was centered. The station’s staff was safe, reported 4VEH’s Global Communications Director Kate Michel, and program hosts went on the air to field phone calls, provide timely information and encouragement, and pray for the nation.
On Sunday, Michel said aftershocks of as high as magnitude 5.8 hit the area. International news media reported that the death toll was over 1,200 [updated: Aug. 16] and expected to keep rising and that 5,700 [updated: Aug. 16] were reported injured. Survivors had been pulled from the wreckage of buildings.
The Saturday earthquake comes more than 11 years after a 7.0 quake killed hundreds of thousands of Haitians and just over a month after the country’s president was assassinated. In addition, Tropical Depression Fred dumped heavy rains on Haiti last week, and Tropical Storm Grace is headed toward the island early this week, potentially bringing high winds and flooding.
4VEH’s coordinator in Les Cayes, Pastor Brown Malingo, provided an early overview of conditions Saturday, including these highlights:
- Many homes have been destroyed.
- Some tall buildings such as hotels and big homes have been flattened.
- People are trying to rescue those trapped.
- People are waiting for help to arrive.
“Today, Sunday, is typically when many Haitians put on their best clothes for church and enjoy fellowship, worship through singing, prayer and teaching in the Lord's house,” a new post on 4VEH’s Facebook page reads. “Though it will look different today, pray that people will draw strength and comfort from the Lord and from the body of Christ today.”
Standing With the Haitian People
As 4VEH stations continue broadcasting in-country, TWR Bonaire’s powerful AM transmitter 500 miles away daily beams to island Bible teaching in Spanish, English and Haitian Creole. You can keep up with 4VEH’s efforts during the unfolding crisis on the ministry’s Facebook page, even viewing streamed videos of the broadcasts.
4VEH asked for TWR supporters and other believers around the world to pray for this nation struggling to deal with multiple crises.
- Pray for everyone affected and especially those in serious need today.
- Pray that relief efforts will be able to quickly respond and make a difference in the hard-hit areas.
- Pray for the 4VEH team in Les Cayes, at the main broadcast center in Cap-Haïtien, and in the United States, where staff members are gathering information to share internationally and coordinating fund-raising efforts.
- Pray for protection from the coming storm, that it won’t significantly hamper rescue efforts providing shelter, medical care, food and water.
If you would like to contribute to a direct need in Haiti, we have started a fund to help our team there secure a combination solar/fuel generator to ensure that station is able to stay on the air when crises like these occur. You can find that fund HERE.
[UPDATE, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021 ] International news media reported that the death toll had surpassed 1,200 (previously 700) and that estimates of the injured had climbed to 5,700 (previously 2,800). Hospitals in the most affected area – around the city of Les Cayes, where TWR national partner 4VEH’s new radio station is on the air – were reportedly overwhelmed by patients. Tropical Depression Grace, somewhat weakened from storm status, is expected to hit the island Monday, bringing heavy rain and possibly causing mudslides.
photo credit: Voice of America