Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Haiti occupies an area roughly the size of Maryland on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Nearly all of the 8.7 million residents are of African descent and speak Creole and French.One of the poorest and least developed countries in the world, Haiti in recent years has struggled with problems ranging from near-constant political upheaval, health crises, severe environmental degradation and an annual barrage of hurricanes. On Jan. 12, 2010, a massive earthquake struck Haiti, reducing much of its capital to rubble. It was the worst earthquake in the region in more than 200 years, with as many as 200,000 feared dead. Sporadic violence, looting and gang-related gunfire broke out under sweltering Caribbean skies even as thousands of US forces awaited deployment from a newly-arrived aircraft carrier sitting in the waters off the city.
In chaotic scenes, United Nations food trucks were rushed by hungry people clamouring for handouts of nutritional biscuits and water purification tablets. Children and the elderly were pushed aside in the crush.
Stunned Haitians piled their dead on the crumbling streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince, and Preval reported stepping over dead bodies as well as massive graves running across beaches. Police estimate the numbers of the dead are incresing rapidly into the hundred thousands.
"Dead bodies are everywhere," said Frederic Dupoux, a resident of the city, in a Twitter feed. "I haven't seen one ambulance or any professional medical care anywhere in Port-au-Prince."
International rescue teams pulled two Haitian women from a collapsed university building, using machinery to cut away debris and allow rescuers to pull them out on stretchers. A sister of one of the survivors shouted praises to God when the women emerged.Now that a week has gone by since the devastating earthquake and aid is finally reaching those who need it, more groups are pitching in to try and help out those and the families of the survivors in Haiti. We should feel fortunate to have been born in a country that does not have such a mass population of poverty striken people and civil unrest. So let's all put our hands together and help out those in Haiti who are suffering. Links for donating are posted below (:
*Text HAITI to 20222