Update on the Haitian Earthquake Aftermath
Matt | On 15, Jan 2010
The 24-hour news channels, blogs and wire services have been overloaded with coverage about the disaster in Haiti. I have been keeping my eye on The Miami Herald, which has coverage of the story in English, Spanish, and Creole. Here’s a snapshot of what’s going on.
- An estimated 45,000 – 50,000 people are feared dead in the Port-au-Prince area.
- There are only a total of four hospitals treating patients in Port-au-Prince (three public, one private). The others were damaged in the rubble.
- Mass graves are being considered for the dead. The Haitian president estimates that 7,000 bodies have already been picked up off of the streets.
- The United Nations headquarters collapsed in the earthquake, killing over 30 people. Another 200 U.N. personnel are missing. This makes the relief efforts that much more difficult because the UN usually handles the relief task.
- Bottlenecks are increasing at Toussaint L’Ouverture Airport in Port-au-Prince. They are low on jet fuel and ramp space. They are also operating without a control tower. On Thursday, the airspace was restricted to only military aircraft, which prevented further disaster relief from arriving. (Not sure if I understand the logic behind that one).
- The seaport in Port-au-Prince was damaged in the quake as well. This is hampering efforts to get cargo ships into the area with supplies.
- President Obama pledged $100 million in aid to Haiti and U.S. troops, who are in route to the island nation.
- President Obama will announce that George Bush and Bill Clinton will head up the humanitarian relief effort in Haiti. (Side note – After Katrina, do we REALLY trust Bush leading any type of relief assistance?? But, I digress).
As more information and updates become available, I will try to pool it together and post it for you.