Devastation and Destruction in Haiti
Matt | On 14, Jan 2010
Prune Juice Media extends its heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the victims of the January 12 earthquake in Haiti. We also need to remember to uplift the family members of the victims living outside of the Caribbean nation. Due to the magnitude of the quake, communications with the island have been devastated in many cases, making it that much harder to check on loved ones.
I first heard about the tragedy early Wednesday morning, approximately eight hours after the magnitude 7.0 struck at 4:53 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Honestly everyone, I’m just in shock. I wasn’t able to blog much of Wednesday, but I kept an ear to the story via my Blackberry, XM radio, and some TV reports. It just saddens me to think that the entire city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital, was essentially destroyed or severely damaged by the earthquake. These are real people, living (at best in some cases) meager lives, who care about their families and try to work for a living.
Haiti is such a poor country and has a very unstable government (see the BBC’s Country Profile of Haiti). If you remember, they suffered through four tropical storms in three weeks in 2008. The last time they had an earthquake of this size was in the late 1700’s. So, since they have been an independent nation, Haiti has never experienced (or imagined) that a tragedy of this size could happen. To see residents wandering aimlessly in the streets, asking for food, water, shelter, and earth-moving equipment did something to me. They didn’t need a handout … they literally need basic supplies that their government was never able to provide for them. The photos on CNN.com just strike the chord for me.
There are several ways to offer your help to the Haitian earthquake victims:
1. Online giving to the American Red Cross. Or, you can call in your donation to (800) RED-CROSS.
2. Text “HAITI” to 90999 to give a $10 donation, also to the American Red Cross. The donation will be added to your cell phone bill.
3. Text “Yele” to 501501 to give a $5 donation to singer Wyclef Jean’s Haitian charity, Yele Haiti. The donation will be added to your cell phone bill. Jean is originally from Haiti and has worked to increase awareness and activism in the island nation prior to the tragedy.
4. For Americans wishing to check on relatives in Haiti, you can call the State Department Operations Center at (888) 407-4747 or visit the department’s website.
As we find out more information, we will be sure to post it on the blog. For the time being, the Haitian people need our prayers and our support through monetary donations to local relief organizations.