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Switch to Forum Live View Catastrophic Earthquake Hits Haiti
5 years ago  ::  Jan 12, 2010 - 9:16PM #1
Merope
Posts: 10,618

A major earthquake struck southern Haiti today, knocking down buildings and power lines and inflicting what its ambassador to the US called a catastrophe for the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation.


"The only thing I can do now is pray and hope for the best," Ambassador Raymond Alcide Joseph said.


Witnesses reported heavy damage throughout the capital, Port-au-Prince, including to the president's residence and century-old homes nearby.  The AP is reporting that a hospital collapsed.  President René Préval is safe, Joseph said, but there was no estimate of the numbers of dead and wounded as of this evening.


The earthquake registered a 7.0 magnitude, was located only 6 miles underground, and shook for 40 seconds (which is a hugely long time).  These factors, together with the quake's proximity to the capital, the dense population of the city, and the poor construction of most of the city's housing combine to raise this quake to catastrophic proportions.


More here.

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 12, 2010 - 10:06PM #2
rangerken
Posts: 16,408

Prayer would be appropriate from those who are believers.


Tangible aid will be appropriate once we find out who to send what to.


And of course our military will be all over this disaster...probably the Navy and Air Force first.


Ken

Libertarian, Conservative, Life member of the NRA and VFW
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 12, 2010 - 10:34PM #3
Erey
Posts: 19,170

I had no idea there could be earthquakes like this in the carribean.  I will be following this story to see what can be done

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2010 - 12:03AM #4
jane2
Posts: 14,295

As if Haiti hasn't suffered so much already.


My parish helps sponsor a mission in Haiti so I will see if they will be sending $$$ aid.


When I hear of a disaster or even local sirens I usually say a quick Kyrie, sometimes in Greek and sometimes in English.

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2010 - 12:31AM #5
Merope
Posts: 10,618

Jan 12, 2010 -- 10:34PM, Erey wrote:

I had no idea there could be earthquakes like this in the carribean.  I will be following this story to see what can be done



Apparently, a strike-slip fault (where, in this case, the North American and the Caribbean plates slide horizontally past each other) runs through or very nearby the island of Hispaniola.  It's (obviously) an active fault, and today's earthquake was the result.  Haiti hasn't had a quake of this magnitude in 200 years.


Had the earthquake been deeper -- and the press is now reporting a depth of 5 miles (rather than the earlier 6 miles) -- and of shorter duration (I can't imagine a 40-second earthquake when each second feels like an eternity), and had the city's buildings been seismically up to par, the thinking is that the damage wouldn't have been nearly as disastrous as it was. 

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2010 - 12:44AM #6
Merope
Posts: 10,618

Jan 13, 2010 -- 12:03AM, jane2 wrote:

As if Haiti hasn't suffered so much already.


My parish helps sponsor a mission in Haiti so I will see if they will be sending $$$ aid.


When I hear of a disaster or even local sirens I usually say a quick Kyrie, sometimes in Greek and sometimes in English.



Haiti has suffered a great deal, hasn't it.  I hope your parish will be sending aid.


The Diocese of Norwich in Connecticut also has an aid mission in Haiti; it's believed that two of the mission's American workers are trapped in rubble.


A Catholic Relief Services representative in Port-au-Prince reportedly told US colleagues (before phone service failed) that there must be thousands of people dead.  The representative reported that it was just total disaster and chaos in the city, with clouds of dust surrounding the city -- presumably from the crumbling buildings. 


Overall, electricity is out in much (if not all) of Port-au-Prince and phone service is down.  Apparently much of the information coming out of Haiti is coming via Twitter.


More here.

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2010 - 12:57AM #7
Merope
Posts: 10,618

Jan 12, 2010 -- 10:06PM, rangerken wrote:

Prayer would be appropriate from those who are believers.


Tangible aid will be appropriate once we find out who to send what to.


And of course our military will be all over this disaster...probably the Navy and Air Force first.


Ken



Haiti already has a 9,000-member UN peacekeeping mission headquartered in Port-au-Prince.  That headquarters, and other UN installations, were severely damaged.  Additionally, a large number of UN personnel are presently unaccounted for. 


The Venezuelan foreign minister says his government plans to send a military aircraft carrying canned foods, medicine, and drinking water.  Venezuela will also send a team of 50 rescue workers.


And a specialized rescue unit from the Los Angeles County (California) Fire Department is preparing for deployment to Haiti.  The heavy rescue task force received a request for assistance from the USAID.  The task force includes paramedics, search dogs, communication specialists, and rescuers trained in combing through collapsed structures to find victims.


I'm sure more aid and rescue efforts are under way.  These are the ones I'm reading about now.


A list of agencies/groups (some Haiti-specific, some not) to which folks can donate is here.

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2010 - 2:13AM #8
Jeanninehunter
Posts: 168

Haiti has indeed suffered a lot. My prayers are with the people of the island nation, which is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.


I hope hearts are stirred to assist the least among us. HOW TO HELP


 

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2010 - 10:34AM #9
rocketjsquirell
Posts: 16,606

American Jewish World Service has been in Haiti for years doing development work. (No evangelism, no religious instruction, etc...) They have a special fund set up www.ajws.org/haitiearthquake,


what they are doing right now


www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/america...


 

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2010 - 12:16PM #10
TemplarS
Posts: 6,926

This is horrible- the more news I hear, the worse it gets.  There was a report on CNN that hundreds of thousands may be dead.  Hopefully, given the quality of information at this stage, that is not correct.  But in any case the tragedy will be beyond belief.


I live near NYC, where there is a sizable Haitian-American community.  These people were on the news this AM, none of them could get any information on relatives back home.  Very sad.  I'll be praying an looking for other ways to help.


 


 

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