Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti's Catastrophic Earthquake


Major quake rocks Haitian capital
(CNN) -- A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Tuesday near Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, the U.S. Geological Survey. Several witnesses reported heavy damage and bodies in the streets of the Haitian capital.

Haiti appeals for aid; official fears 100,000 dead after earthquake
Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) -- Rescue workers struggled to clear rubble and bodies Wednesday from the streets of Haiti's "flattened" capital, where a government official said the death toll from Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude earthquake may exceed 100,000.


Science behind Haiti's Earthquake
Panic Just After The Earthquake

Comparing Haiti's earthquake to biggest temblors since 1900



Online calls to help Haiti

By Omar Chatriwala in Americas on January 13th, 2010

"Help Haiti" is the cry that's been tweeted and retweeted over and over, with the tag remaining a trending topic on the social-messaging website Twitter for most of the day of Wednesday.

Paul Conneally, head of media at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said that although the Red Cross was on the ground in Haiti, "our ability to operate effectively is hugely constrained with massive logistical problems caused by the earthquake".

"We need to bring in emergency field hospitals and all of the emergency pain medicines that will be needed. Added to that we need to support search and rescue operations ... there is a very short window in which to save lives."

International aid groups are rushing to get relief workers and supplies to Haiti after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti on Tuesday. The Red Cross says up to 3 million people may have been affected.

Dominican Republic aid to Haiti eases historic tensionsJanuary 13, 2010 10:01 p.m. EST

CNN) -- The Dominican Republic was the first country to give aid to Haiti in the aftermath of Tuesday's devastating earthquake. Some of the first video images of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince came from a Dominican television crew.
On the face of it, the quick reaction from Haiti's neighbor may not seem surprising given their proximity. But historically, a much wider gap in relations has existed between Haiti and the Dominican Republic since colonial times. The Dominican Republic's outpouring of support to Haiti is a reminder of how the less-than-friendly legacy between the two nations has been buried even deeper.
Some tensions still exist between citizens of both countries. Dominicans recall how they were under Haitian rule for a period in the mid-1800s, and how they repeatedly fought Haitian aggressions. Today, Haitians provide cheap labor in the Dominican Republic, a trend that has caused resentment on both sides, not unlike the illegal immigration debate in the United States.
But as far as the countries themselves are officially concerned, "relations are at a high point compared to 20 or 30 years ago," Ernesto Sagas, associate professor of ethnic studies at Colorado State University, told CNN. "Relations between the countries at the presidential level are at high levels."
Haiti, a former French colony, and the Dominican Republic, with roots as a Spanish colony, have tensions that go back to those days, Sagas said.

The Dominican Republic gained its independence from Haiti in 1844, after Haiti had occupied it. The Dominicans spent the next 20 years fighting off Haitian invasion attempts.
By the early 20th century, Haitians had become a source of cheap labor in the neighboring country. Racism and security concerns resulted in a massacre in 1937. Dominican leader Rafael Trujillo ordered the execution of Haitians living near the border between the countries, resulting in the killings of 20,000 to 30,000 Haitians, historians say.
The current tragedy appears to push those tensions further into the past.
"This is the worst disaster in Haiti's recorded history," Sagas said. "The best role the DR can play is to open its border for other nations to funnel all the aid to Haiti."
The Dominican Republic appears to be following that path.
The government on Wednesday started sending food, medicine and rescue crews to Haiti, the El Nacional newspaper reported. Top Dominican leaders amassed at the border as a staging ground to begin transporting aid into the country. Are you looking for loved ones?
Among the aid are 10 mobile cafeterias that can produce 100,000 meals a day, and heavy equipment to remove debris, Diaz Rua said.

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