BC High students hear from Jesuit priest in Haiti's north

Boston College High School passes along correspondence they have received today (Thursday, Jan. 14) via e-mail from Fr. Perard Monestime, S.J. who was able to update the school community today with his version of the news from his vantage point at a Jesuit school in northern Haiti. The BC High students read this account aloud today at school and raised funds during a morning collection that will go to Haiti.
Fr. Monestine writes:
"The situation is very serious. There are thousands of deaths bodies currently on the streets of Port-au-Prince. More than 60 % of houses have collapsed in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince. The national Palace, the main building offices of the State, schools and institutions that belong to the Catholic Church no longer exist.
"Residences of religious, the roof of the Cathedral of Port - in Port-au-Prince, the Archbishop’s house etc.; all have collapsed. The body of the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince was found under the rubbles. Supermarkets, banks, trade houses, radio and television stations Hospitals etc fell also. According to the administrator of the General Hospital, the largest health institution in the capital collapsed with many patients while many wounded and corpses were being brought in. People spent the night in the streets and public places by fear of new replicas of the earthquake. Throughout the night and even this morning there have been many aftershocks.
This morning. -UN headquarters in Bourdon collapsed and left 11 dead; among whom are 8 Brazilians and 3 Chinese. A population of 2 million and a half in the city of Port-au-Prince is in the state of shock. It will be days before they can get an exact death toll; already are thousands are counted dead Communication with the rest of the country has been cut off since after the earthquake : (roads, telephones, radios, televisions). Mobile phone companies that operate in Port - au Prince no longer work. Since last night one cannot communicate with relatives and friends throughout Haiti except by email for those who have electricity and internet. Internet is the only means of communication. In many areas it is not known exactly how many people are dead. Information I received indicates that the earthquake has also affected the south of Haiti ; however, cities such as Cayes, and Jacmel have been affected, but we don’t know to what extent. We in the North: Ouanaminthe in the Northeast Department, the North Department and the Artibonite Department have not been affected. All of us at the JRSM Haiti are fine. We
have not been affected. The school was open today but due to heavy rain we will not be open tomorrow.
The Haitian State agencies that are already weak in resources have not taken any action so far. They have also been affected by the earthquake. The National Presidential Palace, the House of Legislative, the National Police Headquarters, etc. all have
collapsed. I believe that the United States and other countries of the region, international organizations, the NGOs ' s, the
International Red Cross have already start to send relief. People are still in the streets and the public places have no water, food,
or medication. The dead bodies on the streets are still being exposed. I will return you with more information.
- Perard C Monestime, sj