One year after the earthquake - The balance of a catastrophe
On January 12, 2010, 16:53, the earth in the Carribean shook. One of the worlds poorest and least developed countries got hit by a major earthquake. The quake of magnitude 7.0 destroyed large parts of the impoverished island nation.
One year after the earthquake , the situation has hardly improved in Haiti.
The balance of the catastrophe: More than 250,000 dead, countless homes have been destroyed, about 1.3 million people were left homeless, more than a million people are living in tented camps, thousands of children seeking their parents.
For many people in Haiti every day is still a struggle for survival. The vast majority of the population lives well below the poverty line. The Cholera outbreak in October has contributed to all the misery. According to the WHO 3,651 people died, over 171,300 have been infected and the epidemic has not yet reached its peak. Daily over 100 new cases are registered.
Cholera has been regarded as wiped out in Haiti. No case was reported since more than 100 years. The suggestion that the diseases was introduced by the aid organizations lead to rumors.
Children especially suffer from the unbearable situation in Haiti. 380,000 boys and girls, nearly ten percent of the four million children in the country,are homeless and living in crowded makeshift camps. Only a few managed so far to find their relatives.
It is now important to make drugs and drinking water treatment systems fast available and to improve the hygiene conditions.
The outlook for Haiti remains dim, new catastrophes, old structural problem and political uncertainty interfere the recovery process. Donors are reluctant and the government and the aid organizations are frustrated.
A year after the disaster, the bold visions of rebuilding the country to a decentralized, economically developed and political stable nation have been replaced by the sad reality. The recovery of the country will take years or even decades.
Reports from Haiti:
Walter Hays, former USGS earthquake specialist. His up-dates on the Haiti earthquake here:
Help with a Donation
The best way you can help is by a donating to the relief efforts in Haiti. Below some links to credible, efficent organizations, that are ground working tirelessly to assist the people of Haiti: