From the ground | First person accounts from Haiti
Many of people in Haiti are blogging, sending emails or tweets updating family, friends or the non-profit they work for. With their permission, the Times will be publishing excerpts of their updates.
On January 13, 2010, an earthquake measuring 7.0 rocked the impoverished nation of Haiti. In the hours that followed, reports of the incredible damage to both the city and its inhabitants began to emerge. Even at this point the total extent is unknown. The only clear message coming from Haiti is that the earthquake has created a disaster that the area has never seen.
In an effort to get a full picture of what is going on in Haiti, the Times contacted a few non-profits as well as others who were living in Haiti at the time of the quake or who have left to provide aid to the country. Many of these people are blogging, sending emails or tweets updating family, friends or the non-profit they work for. With their permission, the Times will be publishing excerpts of their updates.
James Addis, World Vision
Addis is a senior editor for the World Vision Magazine. He works out of the Federal Way World Vision offices and recently arrived in Haiti to blog and write about the disaster there.
January 16, 2010
I've been deployed to many humanitarian emergencies. For me, this is the most shocking I have ever seen. I will never forget the corpses piled outside the city morgue.
Travelling back to a modest hotel at 2a.m. last night, we drove past hundreds, maybe thousands, who would have no shelter that night and perhaps not for many nights to come. Some slept under vehicles. Some on sidewalks. Some dangerously on the road.
Some had set up chairs in the middle of the street and remained talking into the early hours. Vehicles were parked haphazardly. We had to ask bystanders for one to be moved. Our driver got out and helped push it. People were good-natured about it all.
So far I have not seen a hint of the violence that some have predicted may erupt if conditions do not improve. On the contrary, for now, a spirit of cooperation seems to prevail. Continue reading.
Rick Perera, CARE
Perera is an emergency media officer for CARE, a humanitarian organization fighting global poverty.
January 16, 2010
I am near the airport at the U.N. security base. CARE's country director in Haiti, Sophie Perez, and our emergency response leader, David Gazashvili, are here meeting with the heads of all the relief agencies. We are coordinating how best to get help to those in urgent need.
Driving here, we saw evidence of the global response to this crisis, including heavy earth-moving equipment, fire and rescue teams, water tankers and trucks carrying supplies. But clearly, far more is needed than what is here so far.
As we pass the many collapsed buildings, we can see a few people trying with few or no tools trying to dig out anyone who might still be alive. There are many makeshift tent cities scattered throughout the city and groups of people waiting outside the compounds of relief agencies waiting for any help they can get. Continue reading.