Updates about the situation of the Salesians in Haiti are arriving from two sources: from the capital Port-au-Prince itself, with which a communication link with the Generate is being set up, and from New Rochelle, where the relief operation is being coordinated.
The Salesians in Haiti have reported the death of three of their confreres: Bro. Hubert Sanon, aged 85 and the two young Salesians in formation Atsime Wilfrid, aged 28 and Vibrun Valsaint, 26.
The most tragic news is the death of the Salesian pupils. After a first estimate which was of over 200 youngsters buried under the ruins with some of their teachers, the latest figure has now been out at about 500. The Crisis Committee of the UNO has confirmed a report from the National Police in Port-au-Prince and from the Central Headquarters of ”OCHA” who in spite of everything are continuing the search to try to find some survivors still alive.
On the CNN site there is a collection of short clips about the activities of the Salesians before the earthquake.
The other Salesians in Port-au-Prince are safe and well, although some were injured; some of them have lost family and friends.
The Enam centre has been razed to the ground; the Provincial House at Drouillard is damaged; the Work of the small schools of Father Bonhem (OPEPB) is completely flattened; the dormitory at Gressier has collapsed; at Thorland the Salesian community house has been damaged, the chapel split in two and the retreat house totally out of commission; the house at Fleuriot has also been damaged with people sleeping outside in the courtyard.
People at the New Rochelle Mission Office are working on the logistics to send material and to coordinate the work of volunteers. They are also collaborating with the “Federal Emergency Management Agency”.
Fr Victor Pichardo, Provincial of the Salesians in the Antilles, has succeeded in reaching Port-au-Prince with a military helicopter and spent a night there. While there he was also to gather practical information for the next stage of the relief work. The Salesian houses in Santo Domingo and Barahona will have a strategic role to organise this. Already a convoy of ten trucks loaded with food and medicine has left La Vega.
The network of support is extending from Salesian Provinces including Perù and English-speaking West Africa, the Salesian NGO and other support agencies.
Source: Info ANS