BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ)– Local relief organizations on alert after Haiti is devastated by Hurricane Matthew.
At least five deaths have been reported and now aid is rushing into the impoverished country from all over the world, including Maryland.READ MORE: National Guard Protecting U.S. Capitol Served 'Raw, Moldy Food,' Some With Metal Shavings, Lawmakers Say
Local relief organizations are now mobilizing and preparing to face catastrophic damage.
“I said lord please, give people in Haiti a chance,” said Elianne Charles, who has family in Haiti.
Hurricane Matthew is expected to be the largest humanitarian crisis in the country since the 2010 earthquake that killed 200,000 people.
Thousands have been evacuated to shelters, but with communications knocked out the extent of the damage is still unclear leaving loved ones without answers.
“I don’t even know if she is in the city or in the capital or if she evacuated,” said Ashley Azemar, who also has family in Haiti.
Three U.S. navy ships, including a hospital ship have deployed out of Virginia to help with relief efforts.READ MORE: COVID In Maryland: 786 New Cases As Hospitalizations, Positivity Rate Fall
In Baltimore, Lutheran World Relief already has aid workers on the ground in Haiti.
“This is the worst storm they’ve seen in the region in the last nine to ten years,” said Carolyn Barker-Villena, who is helping organize the response and says they’ve already been getting disturbing reports. “We’re getting videos of very very strong winds, flooding, some landslides, destruction of homes.”
The organization has been unable to reach workers since the storm hit, but says they are in a safe place. Now they’re looking into the long-term issues that could arise.
“There are some concerns because of the flooding that there could be another outbreak of cholera,” said Barker-Villena.
Lutheran World Relief is accepting donations that will be used for Haiti relief efforts.
The U.S. has offered Haiti $1.5 million in aid in the wake of the storm.MORE NEWS: March 5 Marks 1 Year Since First COVID Cases Reported In Maryland, Gov. Hogan Declares Friday A Day Of Remembrance