Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hell Comes To Haiti

Haiti, a country that has seen more than its share of misery just got hit with a horrific addition - a 7.0 earthquake outside Port-Au-Prince, the capitol city and largest population center.

Haiti is one of the world's poorest countries. Most people have very little except the minimum needed to survive, and now many of them have lost even that.

Building codes are non-existent in Haiti as they are in most poor countries, so the effect of the quake was particularly devastating, with buildings crumbling into rubble or being pancaked. The death toll will likely run into the thousands.

Basic services like food, water and power are non-existent.Hospitals in Port-au-Prince collapsed, including all three facilities run by Doctors Without Borders. Dozens of other buildings were destroyed or sustained heavy damage, including a building in the presidential compound, the U.N. headquarters and the landmark Hotel Montana.

The National Penitentiary collapsed as well and the any of the almost 4,000 inmates who survived escaped adding to the potential security problems that could arise if people resort to looting. That sort of thing has happened before in Haiti when disasters have hit, and even though there's a 11,000 strong UN peacekeeping force there doesn't necessarily mean it won't happen again.

President Obama issued a statement promising a "swift, coordinated and aggressive" U.S. response:

"The reports and images that we've seen of collapsed hospitals, crumbled homes and men and women carrying their injured neighbors through the streets are truly heart-wrenching," Obama said.

Aside from the sheer effort of getting aid to the country, digging people out of the rubble and restoring basic services the biggest problem will be keeping the aid and money out of the hands of the Haitian government as much as possible. Many of them will literally resell the aid to desperate people to line their own pockets.

Here are a few carefully selected ways to help:

  • The Salvation Army via: Online Credit Card Donations at 1-800-SAL-ARMY or you can mail them at: The Salvation Army World Service Office
    International Disaster Relief Fund
    PO Box 630728
    Baltimore, MD 21263-0728
    (*designate checks and money orders to ‘Haiti Earthquake’)

More at Fausta's place, at Michelle Malkin's and at The Anchoress.

1 comment:

louielouie said...

to a certain extent, i can understand why native people live as they do in some, as we would say, exotic locales.
when typhoons(hurricanes) come through, it doesn't offer much protection from the elements, but it doesn't take much to rebuild a grass hut.
some of the atolls in the south pacific aren't even on the radar as far as GDP goes anyway.
that is, unless madame pelosi hasn't planted a pineapple plantation on their island.
so while some say it is squalor, it is everyday life on giligan's island.
there aren't many adobe houses in seattle, nor many wooden ones in phoenix. ok, the frames are of course.
had those hospitals not been built of stone, they wouldn't have collapsed on anyone.

personally, i think the bush administration should be investigated for allowing this to happen.

.......... and why are there 11K UN troops on this island?
vacation paradise for kofi annus.
in the end, haiti was a basket case of a country last week, all this does it put them in the headlines.........
until the next natural, or otherwise, disaster comes along.