Woman Looking at Wreckage after Haiti Earthquake, photo by Gregory Bull/AP
“Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed.” ~ Haitian President Jean Preval on Tuesday’s earthquake.
I could not write my regular post today as I cannot get out of my mind the heart-wrenching images of the Haitian quake victims: building totally demolished, the dead lining the streets of Port-au-Prince, some draped with bloody sheets, others left open to be victimized yet again by scavengers; an injured father standing with the body of his dead infant daughter in his arms, tears streaming down his face; hundreds of ramshackle houses flattened; even the Presidential Palace sits in ruins. The U.N. headquarters was decimated; fourteen bodies have been pulled from the building’s rubble, but another 150 are unaccounted.
The news coming out of Haiti continues to be horrendous. So far, tens of thousands have perished died as a result of the massive earthquake and the dozen aftershocks that struck on Tuesday, the worst earthquake to hit Haiti in over 200 years. The brutal magnitude-7 quake demolished structures, trapping many beneath the rubble. The real toll will not be known for days.
Haiti, a greatly impoverished nation of approximately 9 million people, has no infrastructure and is ill-equipped to handle a natural disaster of such proportions. President Jean Preval told CNN, “A lot of houses destroyed, hospitals, schools, personal homes. A lot of people in the street dead . . . I’m still looking to understand the magnitude of the event and how to manage.” In another interview, Preval stated that “he had been stepping over dead bodies and hearing the cries of those trapped under the rubble of the national Parliament building, describing the scene as ‘unimaginable.'”
According to the MSNBC article (link above), “The quake struck at 4:53 p.m. on Tuesday, centered 10 miles west of Port-au-Prince at a depth of only 5 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said. USGS geophysicist Kristin Marano called it the strongest earthquake since 1770 in what is now Haiti.”
“As we struggle to make sense of things, life looks on in repose. ” ~ Author Unknown
World-wide aid efforts are underway, but of course, there are those out there who would take advantage of the suffering of others: Looting began in Haiti’s capital almost as soon as the quake subsided, and several news sources warn those who want to make donations to help in the recovery effort to be careful of scammers, those claiming to collect money for a charitable organization that does not exist. When in doubt, the Red Cross is always a good bet.
For those of you who need to take your mind of the immensity of the unfolding tragedy, click on the link below to watch Lorenzo Fonda’s “Ten Things I Have Learned About the Sea.” The video is about 10 minutes long, but it is incredibly soothing. (http://www.cerberoleso.it/videos/personal/ten-things-i-have-learned-about-the-sea).
More later. Peace.
Eric Clapton (unplugged), “Tears in Heaven.” Seems appropriate.