Friday, March 12, 2010

Haiti's Still in Trouble: Just a Reminder

Earthquakes and their aftermaths; news from Haiti and Chile:

"Strong quakes torment Chile as president sworn in"
The Associated Press (March 11, 2010)

"The earth shook and shook Thursday as dignitaries walked in for the swearing-in of Sebastian Pinera as Chile's president. It shook some more as they waited for him.

"People in the balconies of the vast congressional hall in coastal Valparaiso shouted warnings as a massive light fixture rocked overhead, and heads of state nervously eyed the ceiling. But a steely calm prevailed, and Pinera strode in smiling.

"The 60-year-old president and his ministers then quickly swore their oaths, and the audience of 2,000 headed for the exits and the hills, joining an evacuation called out of concern that Thursday's repeated aftershocks would set off another tsunami...."

"Two kidnapped foreign aid workers freed in Haiti"
Reuters (March 11, 2010)

"Two foreign aid workers with Doctors Without Borders in quake-hit Haiti were kidnapped and held for nearly a week before being freed early on Thursday, the international medical charity said.

"'Two of my colleagues, two women, were abducted last Friday. They were released early this morning ... they are in good health and in good shape,' Michel Peremans, spokesman in Haiti for Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), told Reuters.

" 'It is not our policy to pay any ransoms,' Peremans said. He declined to say whether a ransom had been asked for in this case, or who the kidnappers were.

"Citing privacy considerations, he declined to give details of their identities or nationalities or of the circumstances of the kidnapping, which occurred in the capital Port-au-Prince...."

"Rainy season brings new threat to Haiti"
ABC News (March 11, 2010)

"The International Red Cross is warning of a new humanitarian crisis in Haiti, with the approaching rainy season set to wreak havoc in overcrowded 'tent cities'.

"With nowhere else to go, hundreds of thousands of homeless Haitians have set up camp on dangerous ground which is susceptible to flood and mudslides.

"Many of the makeshift camps are overcrowded and still growing, and International Red Cross spokesman Alex Wynter says the wet season will only make matters worse.

" 'There's no doubt, and no-one is trying to make any secret of the fact, that this country faces a very grave humanitarian emergency with the rainy season,' he said.

" 'We've got 5,000 local volunteers on hand to do things like digging out drainage gullies so that downpours don't turn into floods.'..."

Nothing really new here, apart from the good news about those folks with Doctors Without Borders. Chile will be experiencing aftershocks - and possibly not-quite-so-closely-related earthquakes - for weeks, months. Longer. It's a geologically active area.

Feeling Generous? Pick Your Charity

I put together a list of charities, after the big quake in Haiti this year. It's pretty obvious that folks in Haiti will need help for the foreseeable future - this page has links and other contact information:

Haiti isn't the only place where people are in need. There's the food situation in Zimbabwe, for instance. But enough with the crises. For now.

Related posts:

Feeling Compassionate, Doing Something About It

I think it's nice to feel bad for people going through hard times. I also think it's nice to do something about it. My household gave to a special collection at our church. We're not particularly wealthy people, for Americans, so my family's contribution was a tiny fraction of the quarter-million dollars that the diocese raised. My guess is that a lot of people gave a little, and a few gave a lot.

We're Catholics, so giving help when we can isn't an option: it's a requirement.

I mentioned Zimbabwe before. This post is already longer than many, and I'm getting off-topic, but one more link. It shows the Catholic Church in America's take on some of what's happening in Africa, and has some links.

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