Wednesday, January 13, 2010

500,000 People Could be Dead in Haiti From the 7.0 Earthquake

The 7.0 Earthquake that obliterated Haiti yesterday may have claimed half a million lives. That is a substantial number by any measure, but in the context of a country that only has nine million citizens it is truly staggering. Information is still sketchy, but graphic pictures of the devastation have started to trickle out. The area is still being hit with aftershocks large enough to be considered major disasters by them selves, but are almost overlooked given the destruction of the first shock.

"Haitians piled bodies along the devastated streets of their capital Wednesday after a powerful earthquake flattened the president's palace, the cathedral, hospitals, schools, the main prison and whole neighborhoods. Officials feared hundreds of thousands may have perished but there was no firm count.

Death was everywhere in Port-au-Prince. Bodies of tiny children were piled next to schools. Corpses of women lay on the street with stunned expressions frozen on their faces as flies began to gather. Bodies of men were covered with plastic tarps or cotton sheets.

President Rene Preval said he believes thousands were killed in Tuesday afternoon's magnitude-7.0 quake, and the scope of the destruction prompted other officials to give even higher estimates. Leading Sen. Youri Latortue told The Associated Press that 500,000 could be dead, although he acknowledged that nobody really knows.

"Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed," Preval told the Miami Herald. "There are a lot of schools that have a lot of dead people in them."

Even the main prison in the capital fell down, "and there are reports of escaped inmates," U.N. humanitarian spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said in Geneva.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Like what you read; Subscribe/Fan/Follow