Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Earthquake in Haiti

I'm delaying my Mali series to cover the earthquake in Haiti that struck Port au Prince Tuesday afternoon.

Thousands were killed and many are still buried alive in the largest earthquake to hit Haiti, recorded at 7.0 on the Richter scale. This is comparable to the California earthquake that shook the country in 1989, and 1.0 higher than the Chinese earthquake that displaced 250,000 in 2009.

Death tolls are still mere speculations, but the count could reach as high as 500,000. Port au Prince was home to 2 million people, many of them severely impoverished. Many homes were in shantytowns, far less stable than architecture of U.S. buildings constructed near fault lines.

Aftershocks continued to rock the country as wails rose from the ruins and Haitians searched through the rubble for the crushed corpses of loved ones. Dust-covered people roamed the streets. Their grey skin and hopeless gaze is hauntingly reminiscent of the living dead.

Schools, hospitals, the cathedral, parliament, and prisons were listed among the destroyed buildings. Inmates are now feared roaming the streets.

The archbishop is counted among the dead, killing the last ray of hope for many Roman Catholic Haitians.

The U.S. is launching a massive, immediate effort to help the country, alongside other aid workers from Iceland to Venezuela.                                                    

The first 24 hour period is the most crucial time for providing aid in natural disaster. You can make an emergency donation to help rescue workers find and sustain the living among the rubble.

No comments:

Post a Comment