More on the 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated Haiti last evening that has left ”thousands” dead and Port-au-Prince is in shambles. [UPDATE: You can see the Haitian tragedy in photos from the Boston Globe.]
The Haitian president, René Préval, told The Miami Herald that the toll was “unimaginable” and estimated that thousands had died. Among those feared dead were the chief of theUnited Nations mission in Haiti and the archbishop of the capital, Port-au-Prince. “Parliament has collapsed,” Mr. Préval was quoted as saying. “The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed. There are a lot of schools that have a lot of dead people in them.”
A hospital collapsed in Pétionville, a hillside district in Port-au-Prince that is home to many diplomats and wealthy Haitians, a videographer for The Associated Press said. An American government official also reported seeing houses that had tumbled into a ravine.
Tequila Minsky, a photographer who was in Port-au-Prince, said a wall at the front of the Hotel Oloffson had fallen, killing a passer-by. A number of nearby buildings had crumbled, trapping people, she said, and a Unibank bank building was badly damaged. People were screaming.
“It was general mayhem,” Ms. Minsky said.
This was the largest earthquake in at least 200 years on the island of Hispaniola. There have reportedly been more than 30 aftershocks of 4.5 magnitude or higher since as well, each of which has put additional strain on the already damaged foundations and walls throughout the island — most of which were built well below the construction standards of the developed world.
This is a catastrophe in not just the way we use the term within our little industry but on a human and emotional level that few of us can personally comprehend. Let’s all hope that search and rescue efforts can be as expedient and successful as possible in the next 36 hours.
Ways You Can Aid Recovery
The first thing you can do is text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 through the Red Cross.
Huffington Post has a list of other ways you can help through donation as well photos of the devastation.
You can also follow all the latest news via Twitter and see some of the destruction as well as an interview with Haiti’s ambassador to the United States in the CBS News videos below.
- UPDATE II: Devastation in Haiti – Up to a Hundred Thousand Dead, May Be the Worst Disaster in Western Hemisphere History
- Devastation in Haiti
- The Haitian Tragedy: Day Three
- Global Earthquake Activity “Within the Normal Range”
- Chilean Earthquake Insured Losses Could Top $8B