Notes on the Haiti Disaster & Haiti Earthquake Relief


When a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, not only did it shocked the nation with such powerful tremor. It also rippled across the globe and made every nation, powerful and otherwise, pay attention.

It made viewers pay attention to this Caribbean nation which they might have only heard of a handful of times before but has not seen or know what it is actually like.  It went beyond depicting the massive damage it earned. It also exposed an economic, political and cultural portrait of the said nation.

Way beyond the images of the rubble or touching stories of survivors, the world saw and heard a cry for help. Different nations geared rescue operations, governments mounted relief programs and various organizations and companies came up with different ways to help and solicit contributions.  Rampant schemes surfaced; buttons asking to be clicked for donations appeared in websites, bank account numbers were flashing in tickers of different cable news channels and artists revamped Michael Jackson’s ‘We are the world’. These are but few of the ways everyone sought to help.

While phenomenal events would usually make companies come together, this tragedy saw the massive gathering of Red Cross, International banks, United Nations (UN), and loads of both profit and non-profit firms. In such note, it is a positive outcome of a negative event. It definitely created a united atmosphere in a conflicting decade. e commerce malaysia It is quite inspiring, if one must say but it sadly, such a cliché as well.

The downside of this misfortune does not beg to be emphasized.  It is yet another harsh reminder of what Mother Nature can unleash. Unfortunately and apparently, a destructive force such as this 7.0-magnitude quake can once in a while propel minds to actually think about disaster preparedness of the world. We may be aware of regions in the world which may experience certain extremities be it geological movement or atmospheric might. We also have developed technology to predict or measure hurricanes, tornadoes, eruptions and tremors. But on the question of how do we asses each nation in terms of preparedness and how can we develop effective strategies when we become badly hit, do we actually have a good answer? Earthquake-proof buildings or bridges can only do so much. More so, technological advancements are of course not attained by nations with weaker economies. How are third world countries supposed to withstand a battering from the nature and what roles do superpower nations take before an actual catastrophe?

Dole outs are the automatic answer for anything sudden and not to mention tragic.  While it helps millions of people in need, does it, in any way, ensure a long lasting solution? It may be true that its intention is for temporary relief but how short would a temporal solution last? After feeding the hungry or giving medical aid to the injured, does it solve an impoverished nation’s dilemma on hunger and health care, for example? Would any nation need to be severely hit first before being actually helped out? Would such actually be a better agenda for super power nations that meet once a year or so?

Such strong earthquake certainly didn’t only cause a massive hit in Haiti. Pulau Perhentian When the earth moved, it definitely unearthed questions regarding priority. It’s just that time can only tell whether or not we pay attention.




Haiti: Battered to the Ground

Before the 12th day of January 2010, most people across the globe might have only heard of Haiti in a class back in college or maybe high school. Some may have heard it or have seen it via a cruise in the Caribbean. Some may have not heard about it at all. Then a magnitude 7 earthquake made everyone aware.

Haiti is the one-third of the island called Hispanolia off in the Caribbean Sea. It shares the island with the Dominican Republic. Test Socket Its population is estimated at above 9 million in 2010. An impoverished country which may be attributed to its history, it sadly became a perfect ground zero for a massive disaster that made ripples across the entire globe.

The powerful tremor struck around 1653 (2153) GMT about 25 kilometers south-west from Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital.  It was also followed by two aftershocks, one scaling 5.9 magnitude while the other, 5.5. Tsunami warnings were quickly issued, but were cancelled afterwards.

While Haiti does not boast of countless impressive infrastructures, almost everything succumbed to the quake. The government posted the death toll figure at 316,000 while the damages were between $8 billion to $14 billion. Tioman Rescuers scampered on collapsed buildings as survivors were trapped in the rubble. Survivors were able to manage to last as long as one week while the others succumbed.

The event was covered in every cable news channel. Nations sought to assist in the rescue operations, relief missions and donations. According to the website of The New York Times, donors promised $5.3 billion for reconstruction. The event not only overshadowed pressing political and economic issues with Haiti, but has also succeeded in causing further blow to the already impoverished nation.

Various profit and non-profit firms acted quickly though. There existed a massive clamor for donations. Different websites posted ways to donate as international artists solicited for help – even spawning a revival of the Michael Jackson-penned ‘We are the world’. Such became the battle cry in response to the tragedy. Governments also pledged to help.

Heartbreaking photos of rubble flourished Time magazine and Newsweek among many others.  Countless stories of loss and survival spread. Amidst all of such, the spirit of being united sprouted as people assisted in rescue and relief operations. While thousands of victims lost limbs, arms and loved ones, they all made an acquaintance one way or another. Most of all, it posted a harsh reminder for the world what nature is capable of.

Haiti’s history trades back to being colonized by Spanish rule before the revolution sought to free itself. However, the established government faced political turmoil that hindered development for the country, thus warranting assistance by the United States. While the population sky-rocketed, it was apparent that development remained non-existent, or if there was any, only gained minimal momentum. The aids epidemic also battered the already ailing economic situation of the country.

In such light, the poor nation was completely hammered to the ground when the earthquake hit. And by not being able to rise from its own set of dilemmas yet, when the powerful earthquake struck, it shook hopes or whatever is left of it to see a better day for Haiti. The people aren’t completely hopeless though. And that matters a lot.


What Does The History of Haiti Tell Us?

The Republic of Haiti, pronounced “Ayiti” from the Hatian Creole, is a small country found at the western part of Hispaniola within the Greater Antillian. Its early settlers are called “Taino Indians” whom are Hispanic of origin. malaysia web design These “Taino Indians” lived like that of tribesmen of modern times wherein the governing body of the tribe are the Chief and the Elders. Like most tribes as well, hierarchy is well established and have been a basis of how a member live his or her life. The men is responsible for protection and hunting, while the women prepares the food and nurse the young. Obviously, it is patriarchal. There is gender inequality but nevertheless, they lived peacefully and prospered at their own pace. They grew as a tribe independently. No foreign influences. No pressure from neighboring countries. Just them. All this changed when Christopher Colombus discovered Haiti while on board his “Santa Maria” galleon. web site design When the latter found the country, he claimed the land as property of Spain and his Queen. Judging the original tenants as indigenous and uncivilized, he and his armies drove them back with their guns and pilfered the land of its gold and other riches. Eventually, this practice continued amidst persistent display of protests. Unfortunately, these protests were unsuccessful. Spain had Haiti under an iron fist and it lasted a long time. Catholicism was injected throughout this course. Language and other practices as well. Unfortunately, so are the infections there were carrying that the original Haitian settlers were not immune to. Because of this, it paved way for microorganisms to flourish and evolve. Thus the outbreak of smallpox happened. According to history, the smallpox outbreak that occurred on Haiti in 1507 was the very first to be recorded wherein hundreds were fatally ill, if not perished.

The colonization continued with the introduction of African natives to the Caribbean.  African natives were transported to work as slaves for the colony without any right to for food nor freedom. They were brought there either to give manual labor for the government, or produce monetary assets by selling them to the residents that has the highest bid. This disgusting practice of slavery tormented the land for nearly two centuries but ended when the locals started a revolution mirroring that of the French revolution. It fought for almost the same principle: uphold the rights of the people without passing judgement based on his color and lineage. Two centuries worth of experience had made the original settlers at par against its colonizers. They were fully equipped of all things necessary to win a war, and because of that, they did win the war. The colonizers were apprehended. Some executed while some fled bringing some of ‘their’ slaves with them Some settled to Cuba whilst some migrated to New Orleans of the United States of America. Independence was granted to the remaining original settlers around eighteen hundreds and they spearheaded the establishment of the Republic of Haiti.

Nowadays, Haiti is considered one of the poor, if not the poorest, country in South America. lemkau The recent earthquake that happened did not help. It actually intensified the country’s growing problem on how it can sustain its people’s lives. Fortunately, there are people and Nations of kindred hearts that reached out to Haiti during its time of need.  Nowadays, after the turmoil caused by a natural disaster, Haiti has started its goal to catch up with the world’s pace by dusting off the dirt from its knees. Let’s just hope all will be well.

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