Archive for January, 2010

Haiti Earthquake 2010

The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 M earthquake centered approximately 25 kilometers (16 mi) from Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, which struck at 16:53:09 local time (21:53:09 UTC) on Tuesday, 12 January 2010. The earthquake occurred at a depth of 13 kilometers (8.1 mi). The United States Geological Survey recorded a series of aftershocks, fourteen of them between magnitudes 5.0 and 5.9. The International Red Cross estimates that there have been as many as three million people affected by the quake, and an estimated 45–50,000 deaths.

Most of Port-au-Prince’s major landmarks were significantly damaged or destroyed in the earthquake, including the Presidential Palace (though the President survived), the National Assembly building, the Port-au-Prince Cathedral, and the main jail. All hospitals were destroyed or so badly damaged that they have been abandoned. The United Nations reported that headquarters of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), located in the capital, collapsed and that a large number of UN personnel were unaccounted for. The Mission’s Chief, Hédi Annabi, was confirmed dead on 13 January by President René Préval.

Appeals for international aid have been issued, including from Raymond Joseph, Haiti’s ambassador to the United States and his nephew, singer Wyclef Jean, also a “roving ambassador” for Haiti.

Several countries have responded to the appeals. The neighboring Dominican Republic was the first country to give aid to Haiti, easing tensions that have been growing between the two countries since the 19th century. British charities have launched a massive fund raising effort.

The U.S. Army’s 1st Battalion, 73rd Infantry from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, has been scheduled to deploy on 15 January 2010 along with the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson. The U.S. Navy also announced on 13 January 2010 that the hospital ship Comfort and amphibious helicopter carrier Bataan will be deployed to assist in the humanitarian relief efforts. On January 14 2010, the US Government announced a large relief fund effort for Haiti. The US president, Barack Obama, said America would give $100m to the aid effort for the stricken Caribbean country and pledged that the people of Haiti “will not be forgotten”.

The International Red Cross has announced that it has run out of supplies in Haiti and has appealed for public donations. Giving Children Hope has been working to get much-needed medicines and supplies on the ground.

Israel sent medical teams with supplies to Haiti. The Israelis will attempt to help at least 500 patients each day.

Partners in Health is the largest health care provider in rural Haiti; it oversees some 10 hospitals and clinics, all far from the capital and all still intact. PIH is currently serving the flow of patients from Port-au-Prince.

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