>>Haitians flee in fear as big aftershock hits – Yahoo! News
Posted January 20, 2010on:
Updated report: Haiti relocating homeless, port repairs needed (AP)
I am happy to read that the authorities are moving people out of the squalid makeshift camps in the city and away from the dead bodies which will cause even more needless deaths. They will also bring these people closer to sources of food and medication. People are dying now from infected wounds and unsanitary conditions. BB
I want to say first that I am so proud of the American troops who are in Haiti and the compassion they show the people they have gone to help. Of course, compassion is the hallmark of American troops where ever they are sent to help people in need. Our troops are carrying no arms of any kind. Security is being left to the United Nations Security Forces. Because of the Haitian people themselves and despite the thousands of criminals who have escaped when the prisons collapsed there doesn’t seem to be a need for a large security force.
I am overwhelmed with amazement by the bravery, fortitude and calm shown by the Haitian people themselves. I can not believe how peacefully and gratefully these people are accepting what ever help they are getting a full eight days after the first terrible earth quake hit their island. I have never seen people behaving as these people are in the face of all their desperation. It surely puts to shame other groups who have been in far less desperate circumstances and yet who felt the need to wail and complain.
Now a second earthquake aftershock almost as large as the first has hit and still the people go on. Surely God is looking after these people. And NO! I do not believe that God sends terrible tragedies to afflict people! We souls ourselves choose to live in this physical plane and therefore we must accept all that the physical plane offers both good and bad. God and His angels are love and offer us only as much comfort as they can. It is evident by the attitudes of the Haitian people that God and His angels are walking among the people at this time. BB
The U.S. Navy’s floating hospital, USNS Comfort, dropped anchor in view of the capital on Wednesday with about 550 medical staff, joining teams from about 30 other countries trying to treat the injured. About 250,000 people were hurt in the quake and aid groups say many people have died for lack of medical care or adequate equipment.
And the Pentagon announced that 2,000 more U.S. Marines would be sent to Haiti, adding 11,500 U.S. military personnel already on the ground or on ships offshore — a number expected to reach 16,000 by week’s end. (The Marines have landed on the shores with the amphibian equipment –sorry I can’t think of what they are called– but now more supplies will be gett6ing to people who have not been able to get supplies from the air port because of damaged roads. BB)
At a golf course where U.S. troops have been trying to help 25,000 people living under sheets of plastic and old cloth, soldiers and quake victims alike raced for open ground as the quake began.
A slow vibration intensified into side-to-side shaking that lasted about eight seconds. Some in Port-au-Prince said the far stronger Jan. 12 quake seemed to last for 30 seconds.
“It kind of felt like standing on a board on top of a ball,” said Staff Sgt. Steven Payne. The 27-year-old from Jolo, West Virginia, who was part of the U.S. Army’s aid mission.
At least one woman to die of a heart attack, according to Eddy Thomas, a private undertaker who was wheeling her body along a street in Port-au-Prince: “She had a heart condition, and the new quake finished her.”
The U.S. Geological Survey said the aftershock was centered about 35 miles (60 kilometers) west-southwest of Port-au-Prince and 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) below the surface.
The shaking ripped 8-inch (20-centimeter) cracks in a road west of the capital near Leogane, where U.S. Marines were setting up a post to aid quake victims who are sleeping in streets, culverts and driveways, often under tree branches draped with sheets to guard against the sun.
The latest quake, combined with a light rain on Tuesday, has complicated rescue efforts, said Dr. Yi Ting Tsai, part of a Taiwanese crew digging for survivors near the ruined cathedral.
“The problem is the rain and the new quake this morning has made the debris more compact,” he said.
International aid teams have saved 121 people from the rubble, an unprecedented number, according to aid organization. Dr. Jon Kim Andrus, deputy director for the Pan American Health Organization, said that “countless more have been rescued by Haitians working with no equipment at all,” he said.
A 69-year-old domestic worker, Ena Zizi, said she prayed constantly during her week under the rubble.
She had been at a meeting at the residence of Haiti’s Roman Catholic archbishop when the Jan. 12 quake struck, trapping her in debris. On Tuesday, a Mexican disaster team pulled her to safety.
Zizi said after the quake, she spoke back and forth with a vicar who also was trapped. But he fell silent after a few days, and she spent the rest of the time praying and waiting.
“I talked only to my boss, God,” she said. “I didn’t need any more humans.”
Doctors who examined Zizi on Tuesday said she was dehydrated and had a dislocated hip and a broken leg.
Elsewhere in the capital, two women were pulled from a destroyed university building. And near midnight Tuesday, a smiling and singing 26-year-old Lozama Hotteline was carried to safety from a collapsed store in the Petionville neighborhood by the French aid group Rescuers Without Borders.
Yet the colossal efforts to help Haiti were proving inadequate because of the scale of the disaster. Expectations exceeded what money, will and military might have been able to achieve.
Governments have pledged nearly $1 billion in aid, and thousands of tons of food and medical supplies have been shipped. But much remains trapped in warehouses, or diverted to the neighboring Dominican Republic. Port-au-Prince’s nonfunctioning seaport and many impassable roads complicate efforts to get aid to the people.
Aid is still being turned back from the single-runway airport, where the U.S. military has been criticized by some of poorly prioritizing flights. The U.S. Air Force said it had raised the facility’s daily capacity from 30 flights before the quake to 180. (no matter how great the effort there will always be those on the side lines with their hands in their pockets who will complain that things aren’t being done right or fast enough@! Have you noticed that? BB)
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the military will send a port-clearing ship with cranes aboard to Port-au-Prince to remove debris that is preventing many larger aid ships from docking.
Perhaps as important for many Haitians was the announcement by a leading banker, Richard Coles, that banks will reopen on Saturday. That will help restore the flow of money from Haitians abroad, who send home $1.9 billion a year.
And they may have something to spend the money on: Farmers are again trudging into the capital from hillside plots balancing packages of cauliflower, sweet potato, sugar cane and lettuce on their heads. ___