Léogâne (Haitian Creole: Leyogàn) is a seaside commune in Ouest Department, Haïti. It is located in the eponymous arrondissement, the Léogâne Arrondissement. The port town is located about 29 km (18 mi) West of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. The town was at the epicenter of the 12 January 2010 earthquake, and was catastrophically affected, with 80-90% of buildings damaged. It also had been destroyed in an earthquake in 1770.
Léogâne is the birthplace of the Taíno queen Anacaona (the town was originally called the Amerindian name Yaguana) as well as Marie-Claire Heureuse Félicité, the wife of the Haitian revolutionary Jean-Jacques Dessalines (1758).
Charlemagne Péralte, the leader of the Haitian resistance to the U.S. occupation that had started in 1915, had been a military officer stationed in Léogâne. He resigned from the military, refusing to surrender to the U.S. troops without a fight. Afterwards he returned to his native town of Hinche and began leading the Cacos against the occupation forces.
Since 2005 (prior to the 12 January 2010 earthquake) the city has had an Episcopalian nursing school, Faculté des Sciences Infirmières de l'Université Épiscopale d'Haïti à Léogâne. There was also a hospital run by the Episcopalian Diocese, with Presbyterian missionary collaboration; Hopital Sainte-Croix (Holy Cross). The hospital had closed to inpatients two years previously, and although it had continued with a variety of outpatient services, it is since restored to a being full service healthcare institution. The centerpiece of the city was the now-destroyed Roman Catholic Sainte Rose de Lima Church.
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Léogâne was at the epicenter of the 7.0 magnitude 12 January 2010 earthquake, and a United Nations assessment team that investigated three main towns near Port-au-Prince found that Léogâne was "the worst affected area" with 80 to 90% of buildings damaged and no remaining government infrastructure. Nearly every concrete structure was destroyed. The damage was also reported to be worse than the capital. The military estimated that 20,000 to 30,000 people had died from the earthquake in Léogâne. People had congregated in ad hoc squatter camps and relief had taken longer to reach Léogâne.
In the wake of the temblor destroying municipal buildings, city hall was moved to a telecommunications building. Among the facilities destroyed in the quake was the Sainte Rose de Lima School, considered the emotional heart of the city. The main commercial strip, the "Grand Rue" was also collapsed. Saint Croix Hospital was also partially demolished. The "court of the peace" building was destroyed in the temblor.
British urban search and rescue teams with Rapid-UK along with the Icelandic search and rescue team were the first to reach the destroyed town on 17 January 2010. The Canadian destroyer HMCS Athabaskan first reached the area on Tuesday, 19 January. The Athabaskan's crew of 280 have been tasked to supply humanitarian aid to the city and assist in relief efforts. A Japanese field hospital, Sri Lankan peacekeeper unit, and an Argentine White Helmets field hospital are already in the field treating survivors, the Japanese and Argentinians had arrived on the 18th. The Canadian Medical Assistance Team (CMAT) arrived on the 19th, and set to work performing surgeries.
The missionaries of World Wide Village, set up outpatient clinics beside the Japanese Red Cross at the nursing school in Léogâne within days after the earthquake. Volunteer medical personal together with teams of volunteer surgeons from World Wide Village and the University of Notre Dame, have seen and treated thousands of patients. World Wide Village brought in a Field Hospital which began full operation in Late February 2010, the new, "Hospital St. Croix". World Wide Village and the University of Notre Dame continue to send teams to the nursing school/field hospital to meet ongoing health care needs in Léogâne.
As Léogâne has no airport, the Canadians began using the small strip at Jacmel to avoid the bottleneck in Port-au-Prince, and had 250–300 personnel there the next day. The Canadian 1 Field Hospital is being deployed to Léogâne. The Cuban military set up a field hospital in the region.
Canadian soldiers are providing security for food distribution points. The Canadian medical facility is located near the Japanese field hospital, which is next to the nursing school, which has been turned into a hospital. Canada has deployed the Van Doos, a Canadian infantry regiment, to help with recovery efforts. Haitian Girl Guides and Boy Scouts are providing crowd control at some food distribution points.
With no airport in Léogâne, any aid needing to be airlifted in needs to be carried by helicopter, or through use of small planes on makeshift landing strips. The highway, Route 9, at Léogâne, was cordoned off by UN Peacekeepers to use as such a landing strip.
The Korean government announced it would deploy 250 peacekeepers to the region in February, composed mostly of engineers, with some medical troops, and marines for security. The mission comprises 120 military engineers, 22 medics and a 1,200 tonne-freighter filled with supplies and equipment. As of 18 February 2010, the Korean Peacekeepers had started work on building a hospital. On 27 February 2010, 190 South Korean Peacekeepers left home for deployment in Léogâne. By 28 February 2010, 240 members of South Korean Peacekeepers (Task Force Danbi / Operation Danbi) had arrived.
As of 9 February 2010, the US 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit was rotating out of Haiti, having been replaced by the US 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, in their position on USS Bataan and Carrefour, Léogâne, Petit-Goâve, and Grand-Goâve.
Once the victims of the earthquake were cared for, 1 Canadian Field Hospital began to treat patients with other serious illnesses. Many operations were performed on patients who traveled long distances to Léogâne for care. On 7 March 2010, it was announced that HMCS Athabaskan was to end its mission on 10 March.
Johanniter International (Built top of the bill rehabilitation center in Leogane, which was donated to the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital) and six community clinics in the region of Leogane. They also trained more than 30,000 villagers in disaster reduction and preparation.
The University of Notre Dame du Lac of Indiana is hosted by the Sainte Croix Hospital, and with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, assists the hospital in conducting a Ministry of Health-sanctioned reference center to research, treat and control the mosquito-borne disease lymphatic filariasis (aka elephantiasis).
GOALS (Global Outreach and Love of Soccer) is a permanent sport-for-development organization in Léogâne which uses soccer to mobilize youth to improve health, the environment and local leadership.
La Faculté des Sciences Infirmières de l'Université Épiscopale d'Haïti à Léogâne (FSIL) is a baccalaureate nursing school located in Léogâne.
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- The Louverture Project Wiki
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