When a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit southwest Haiti over the weekend, it wasn't long before one Tri-State organization got to work.
"No matter the need, anywhere in the world, here in Cincinnati Greater Cincinnati area or throughout the United States, Cincinnati is always one of the first to always lend a hand," said Tim Mettey, CEO of Blue Ash-based Matthew 25: Ministries. "I think that's such an important thing is that, you know, we're showing them that people care about them."
The organization sent a medical team and relief supplies such as soap, toilet paper, bottled water and other personal care items to help support the survivors living through the earthquake's aftermath.
Dr. Jana Houser, associate professor of meteorology at Ohio University, described the damage wrought by an earthquake of that magnitude as "substantial."
"That has the equivalent of about 20 billion kilograms of dynamite, so that is a lot of energy," she said. "Energy like that is going to level homes, is going to bring large buildings down to rubble, and basically anything except for the most reinforced, well-designed earthquake-proof buildings are going to experience substantial structural issues."
Posing an additional challenge to relief efforts is the looming tropical depression Grace, expected to hit Haiti with torrential rains in the coming days.
"Unfortunately, it looks like that really torrential rain is going to go right over the epicenter there," Houser said. "So you're going to potentially see issues with flooding, with mudslides and all of these types of related phenomena that go along with that, which is really gonna, unfortunately, complicate the response efforts."
Those conditions have Metty preparing for a long recovery period for the area.
"A lot of the areas have been devastated, destroyed. Most of the streets are impassable right now," he said. "And, you know, a lot of the clinics and hospitals have been destroyed. So the ones that are still standing, they're overwhelmed with people; they can't, they didn't have many of the supplies before, to help their normal population, so now it's constrained even worse."
Those interested in supporting Matthew 25: Ministries relief efforts in Haiti can do so on their website.