An Ontario nurse is hoping to fly out of Haiti with her medical team on Monday as dangerous anti-government protests continue to cut off roads to the airport.
Tracey Hotta, a Thornhill, Ont. resident, says the group of Canadian nurses she’s with have hired a helicopter to take them from the compound where they’re staying, in the city of Grand Goave, to the airport in the capital Port-au-Prince. Grand Goave is about 65 kilometres west of Port-au-Prince.
From there, the group of eight Canadian nurses is set to take an Air Canada flight to Montreal.
Normand Rosa, one of the guests at the hotel, said Saturday morning that the helicopter evacuations from the hotel were “rolling smoothly.”
Rosa said he was glad Transat had finally given in to pressure to bring the vacationers to the airport, after the company said earlier in the week that logistics and security prevented it from doing so.
He said that while the hotel staff had been accomodating and he’d never felt unsafe, it was time to return home.
“We have plenty food, everything is under control, but maybe in a week or two … so it’s better to evacuate before it deteriorates further,” he said in a phone interview.
Protests demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moise have claimed several lives over the past week.
Protesters are angry about skyrocketing inflation and the government’s failure to prosecute embezzlement from a multi-billion Venezuelan program that sent discounted oil to Haiti.
Other Canadians stuck in Haiti have also been making their way to the airport by way of helicopter flights or harrowing road journeys.
An Ottawa doctor and three health professionals from New Brunswick endured a nerve-wracking seven-and-a-half hour trip that ended with his group hiring an ambulance driver to secure safe passage to the airport on Friday.
Reached Saturday from a stopover in Philadelphia, Dr. Emilio Bazile said he felt lucky to have escaped with only a few bruises from flying rocks that also damaged a vehicle.