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Major Earthquake (7.3.) in Haiti - 12th January 2010



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 13th, 2010, 12:09 am
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Major Earthquake (7.3.) in Haiti - 12th January 2010

There was a major, very serious earthquake in Haiti about two hours ago (12th January, 21:53 GMT, or 16:53 local time).

First reports coming in speak of major damage and a disaster of major proportions. There is also a Tsunami warning (though it has not been confoirmed that there is actually a tsunami, as far as I understand it).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8455629.stm

I think we'll probably have a few things to discuss, and perhaps we should also send our best wishes and prayers to the people of Haiti.


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Old January 13th, 2010, 12:46 am
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Re: Major Earthquake (7.3.) in Haiti - 12th January 2010

My first reaction was to wing a prayer their way.


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Old January 13th, 2010, 3:11 am
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Re: Major Earthquake (7.3.) in Haiti - 12th January 2010

My first couple reactions were "not there, that's the least able to take it". Then I got up and started looking for appropriate places to donate. Talk about the worst area possible for something like that.


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Old January 13th, 2010, 3:19 am
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Re: Major Earthquake (7.3.) in Haiti - 12th January 2010

It's awful. Really awful.

Of course, one doesn't wish an earthquake, let alone one of that magnitude, on anyone. But Haiti is particularly not able to take it right now - and it hit pretty much right at their capital, too.

Terrible.

My prayers certainly go out to Haiti today.



By the way - at least the Tsunami warning was called of almost immediately after my post was written.


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Old January 13th, 2010, 7:15 am
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Re: Major Earthquake (7.3.) in Haiti - 12th January 2010

There still seems to be very little information available, but what is clear is that massive aid will be needed. And fast.


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Old January 13th, 2010, 8:37 am
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Re: Major Earthquake (7.3.) in Haiti - 12th January 2010

I've seen my city hit by a Tsunami, following an earthquake in Indonesia in 2004, and I'm glad the Tsunami warning has been called off. I'm praying Haiti gets the aid it needs.

This is very tragic


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Old January 13th, 2010, 8:54 am
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Re: Major Earthquake (7.3.) in Haiti - 12th January 2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alastor View Post
There still seems to be very little information available, but what is clear is that massive aid will be needed. And fast.
It looks as if a lot of crucial infrastructure is gone .... seeing that the capital was fully hit, it's likely that the whole country has lost some crucial infrastructure, which will be terrible in the long run - but for now, it'll be harder just to deal with the problem at hand...


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Old January 13th, 2010, 12:22 pm
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Re: Major Earthquake (7.3.) in Haiti - 12th January 2010

What a tragedy. I don't even know how to express my sorrow and concern for the people who were injured and who lost loved ones, not to mention their homes and their whole world as they knew it. No one is ever the same after they are touched by tragedy, and when it is on such a massive scale... I don't know. I feel rather helpless, but my prayers are with them, and with their families around the world as they try to find answers about their loved ones. I hope there are donations taken up somewhere. I'd like to offer my support.


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Old January 13th, 2010, 12:49 pm
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Re: Major Earthquake (7.3.) in Haiti - 12th January 2010

Chris, your reaction was exactly my reaction. Such a tragedy.


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Old January 13th, 2010, 1:07 pm
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Re: Major Earthquake (7.3.) in Haiti - 12th January 2010

I agree with all above comments. A horrible tragedy. They have very poor infrastructure and this was a massive quake.


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Old January 13th, 2010, 2:25 pm
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Re: Major Earthquake (7.3.) in Haiti - 12th January 2010

This is about as bad as it gets - a quake of that magnitude, in a heavily built up area of an already extremely impoverished country still recovering from hurricane damage. Terrible.


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Old January 13th, 2010, 3:10 pm
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Re: Major Earthquake (7.3.) in Haiti - 12th January 2010

Dense population and shoddy building standards. No decent social or physical infrastructure. Profound poverty. Oh what a horror.


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Old January 13th, 2010, 3:29 pm
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Re: Major Earthquake (7.3.) in Haiti - 12th January 2010

The Red Cross (BBC reporting http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8456819.stm) think that THREE MILLION people are affected in some way. That would be a third of the population.


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Old January 13th, 2010, 4:42 pm
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Re: Major Earthquake (7.3.) in Haiti - 12th January 2010

What's particularly cruel, in a way, is that the UN's building collapsed. That's going to make it that much harder for them to coordinate relief efforts.

Several organizations, thankfully, already had a good Haiti presence and are able to get going quickly. I know Partners in Health had at least some of their infrastructure survive, and they're really familiar with Haiti (that's Paul Farmer's organization), as are several other aid organizations.

I hope that heavier rescue equipment will be able to make it there quickly and effectively. I think at least two teams from the US are on the way or planning on getting there, and I expect that developments will be very, very rapid today - a span of two hours may completely change information, for all we know.


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Old January 13th, 2010, 5:59 pm
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Re: Major Earthquake (7.3.) in Haiti - 12th January 2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris View Post
I hope that heavier rescue equipment will be able to make it there quickly and effectively. I think at least two teams from the US are on the way or planning on getting there, and I expect that developments will be very, very rapid today - a span of two hours may completely change information, for all we know.

In terms of accessibility it could be a lot worse (Remember Pakiistan/Kashmir a few years ago?). Being a port, havy loads can be brought in easily and delivered pretty much to the centre of the catastrophe. I am just not sure about very fast support - I wonder whether there would be any facilities for air transport left....


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Old January 13th, 2010, 6:04 pm
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Re: Major Earthquake (7.3.) in Haiti - 12th January 2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris View Post
What's particularly cruel, in a way, is that the UN's building collapsed. That's going to make it that much harder for them to coordinate relief efforts.
Someone from the French Embassy just reported that they fear every person at the UN building may have perished. The hospital has collapsed leaving the injured no place to seek medical treatment.

I'm not sure if the US has one of its hospital ships nearby, but perhaps one ought to be routed to Haiti.

It is absolutely tragic.

** for donations I'd say contact the International Red Cross. They were already on the ground and have additional teams deploying as we speak. I think it would be risky to any organization that isn't well known and established.


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Old January 13th, 2010, 6:14 pm
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Re: Major Earthquake (7.3.) in Haiti - 12th January 2010

I would expect that one of the hospital ships would be en route if at all possible. I know the Coast Guard already has a cutter offshore.

In the "take the good news where you can" category the airport seems to be at least partially operable, which is a relief, since they can hopefully get supplies in that way.

ETA: USS Comfort might be able to get there, but it will take several days since they have to recall the crew and it's currently in Baltimore. See the second part of this article.


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Last edited by Chris; January 13th, 2010 at 6:21 pm.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 6:24 pm
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Re: Major Earthquake (7.3.) in Haiti - 12th January 2010

And Puerto Rico and Cuba are "close" by so sending resources isn't horribly difficult.

here's a list of some charities accepting donations.

The Pope has activated worldwide Catholic Relief Charities

http://in.reuters.com/article/worldN...45364720100113

Food for the Poor has active operations in Latin America and the Caribbean, including Haiti. They had teams on the ground before the quake struck and have more on the way.

http://www.foodforthepoor.org/about/

Here are several more you may want to consider.
  • United Methodist Committee on Relief
  • Salvation Army
  • Providence in Haiti
  • American Jewish World Service
  • Lutheran World Relief

One ministry official in Haiti has said that the number of dead and injured may be between 100,000 and 500,000. He said there's no way to know because so many buildings have simply been reduced to dust.

EDIT***

CNN just reported that 9,000 UN peacekeepers can not be accounted for. Apparently the phone lines are down across the island, so they may just be unable to get word out, but the fears of many appear to be that they have all been killed.

The tremors have continued today, which makes things worse as buildings that were damaged but standing are damaged further and collapse.


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Last edited by monster_mom; January 13th, 2010 at 6:28 pm.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 6:45 pm
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Re: Major Earthquake (7.3.) in Haiti - 12th January 2010

My heart and prayers go out to those affected.


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Old January 13th, 2010, 7:21 pm
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Re: Major Earthquake (7.3.) in Haiti - 12th January 2010

Since I just had reason to think about this AND heard a warning about this on the radio....


  • If you donate, make absolutely sure you know where the money goes and what the recipient is going to do with it.
  • It's probably best to go with an organisation that's got a good track record.
  • It's good to find out (if you can) what they are intending to do with the money - pick someone who really gets it there soon, and who is also likely to use surplusses for later recovery projects.
  • Try to make find an organisation which turns your buck into as much aid as possible.


Not every organisation is equally good at actually converting money into action and aid - some are simply inefficient. It's not always easy to work this out, but look around a bit - e.g. an already existing organisation in the country helps, special expertise in relevant areas helps - e.g. earthquake relief or water purification. The largest and most famous organisations may often be a safe bet, but if you do know a small effort based on personal contacts and action you can verify (e.g. Church efforts based on personal contacts with partner churches or something like that) you can potentialy make a big difference, and sometmes at a very good effort per dollar rate (but do verify claims).


Even worse, there are always fraudsters out there who try to siphon off some well-meant donations. So make sure you know that the donor link/address is actually genuine.

I don't have the vocabulary to express my feelings for those kinds of crooks.

Note: I am not implying that such fraudsters are Haitian - the usual case is probably that they aren't.


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