Saturday, January 16, 2010

Haiti Earthquake: It's Not Just Port au Prince

"Outside Port-au-Prince, 'towns are absolutely destroyed' "
CNN (January 15, 2010)

"Jacmel was the artsy town Kathryn Bolles would travel to on weekends, a respite from the bustle of Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince.

"But when a colleague with the Save the Children organization returned from once-scenic Jacmel on Friday, Bolles said he was traumatized.

" 'He said it's horrible what's happened there,' said Bolles, the emergency health and nutrition director for Save the Children in Haiti. 'People are lost, dead, missing. Houses are down and facilities are down. It sounded similar to what we're seeing here in Port-au-Prince.'

"Attention has focused on Port-au-Prince since Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude quake, as it is the country's most populous city -- at more than 1.2 million people -- and has suffered tremendous devastation. Thousands of homeless victims have taken to sleeping in the streets, without food, water and medical attention. Others are buried beneath the rubble, and rescuers have miraculously pulled out survivors who were entombed by the debris...."

I've been wondering about places in Haiti that weren't Port au Prince. It's understandable that news coverage would focus on Haiti's capital. A lot of people lived there, reporters who were in Haiti when the quake hit would be likely to be in the capital, and communications facilities might be concentrated there.

Still, the dead silence about what had happened outside Haiti's capital had concerned me.

Jacmel, by the way, is about 20 miles southwest of Port au Prince.

The epicenter of Tuesday's quake seems to have been about 10 miles southwest of Port au Prince. (January 13, 2010) Which would be about halfway between the capital and Jacmel.

View Larger Map
(from Google Maps)

Back to that CNN article:

"...Just to the west of Port-au-Prince is Carrefour, a city of 442,000 that felt violent shaking during the quake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Damage there is expected to be heavy -- reports have yet to come in, the agency said.

"West of that is Leogane, a city, like Carrefour, that is passed on the road to Jacmel. More than 30 miles further west of the capital is Petit-Goave -- all towns, Bolles said that are reeling from the quake.

"Leogane's main hospital was flattened, as were numerous other buildings, Bolles said. She said she heard the 'whole town had collapsed.'..."

That estimated Red Cross death toll? My guess is that it's going to be going up, as rescue and recovery teams get to more places in Haiti.

People have been underwriting rescue efforts at a great rate, but aid agencies will probably need more.

Copied from the top of this blog:

A list of charities you've probably heard about already, with links and some contact information: Also a list of posts in this, and two other blogs, about Haiti.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree and have been very frustrated with CNN, MSNBC, etc. for near exclusive coverage in Port au Prince. I have personal interest in a small area called Thor which is 1/2 mile from Carrfour. I've not seen or heard a single report from Carrfour, the epicenter. Last night I e-mailed CNN asking why they haven't expanded their coverage to outlying areas.

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