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Haiti: Desperate for shelter, some Haiti quake survivors repair homes despite warnings

While living underneath a tarpaulin near her home in Camp-Perrin, Judith Saint-Germain can’t help but to feel agitated every time she hears a sudden noise. She worries that the noises are from pieces of her home falling on family members tearing down their earthquake-damaged home to rebuild it. On Sunday, a rock fell on her brother-in-law’s forehead, sending him to the hospital for stitches.

“I’m scared, where they are is really dangerous,” Saint-Germain, 38, said. “But we can’t spend the rest of our lives outside. We have to get a home.”

“If we wait for authorities, with the amount of homes that collapsed in Camp-Perrin, we could be waiting for over two, three years,” Saint-Germain, a middle school teacher, added.

At least 52,953 structures collapsed and 77,006 were damaged in Haiti’s southwest, where the 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Aug. 14. Haiti’s Civil Protection, the disaster response agency, said in an Aug. 21 statement that evaluations would start “in the coming days” and it warned people not to rebuild structures. 

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