The Caribbean country Haiti was struck by a vicious earthquake (7.2° in Richter’s scale) last Tuesday afternoon, followed by a series of aftershocks.
Scenes of chaos, pain and suffering can be seen all around Port-au-Prince. The national emergency services have been overwhelmed by the catastrophe and are powerless to deliver help to the people in the streets and those who still lie (alive) within the collapsed buildings.
The Daily Mail informs that among the fatalities were up to 100 United Nations staff, (including Hedi Annabi, the Secretary General’s special envoy) who were working inside its headquarters when it collapsed.
The Haiti National Palace was also destroyed in the severe earthquake.
According to The Daily Mail, the Red Cross fears about three million people were affected.
Communications have been affected and power is out, according to reports from MSNBC.
The Guardian has informed that Haitian prime minister, Jean-Max Bellerive, told CNN that the final death toll could be well over 100,000. “I hope that is not true … But so many, so many buildings, so many neighbourhoods are totally destroyed, and some neighbourhoods we don’t even see people, so I don’t know where those people are.”
Haitian senator Youri Latortue told the Associated Press that 500,000 might be dead. Both men admitted that they had no way of knowing.
World leaders have expressed their will to help the people from Haiti in different ways. Some of them will be sending food and medical supplies while others will dispatch search and rescue teams to provide assistance.
Mexican rescue team “Topos” (specialized in searching and aiding people trapped among ruins after earthquakes and other natural disasters) have reported ready to go, although they need help from Mexican government to travel to Haiti. The team members are willing to offer help even though last year (May) Haitian government rejected tonnes of humanitarian help Mexican government had sent to ease starvation. Haiti and other nations (Argentina, Chile, Cuba, and others) deliberately discriminated Mexicans last year among erroneous suspicions that the A-H1N1 virus had originated in Mexican territory.
This evening our thoughts are with the people from Haiti, the relatives of all those who died over there and the thousands of homeless and injured around the country. May they face this situation courageously and overcome this tremendous disaster soon.
More about Haiti:
January 13th, 2010.