Haiti’s desolation in the wake of the powerful quake that rocked the island on January 12, and the graphic portrayal of the victims’ misery and suffering, has touched the collective conscience of the world and won sympathy for the Haitian people on a scale that surely has never been seen, even during previous national crises.
The world is transfixed by the disaster. Updates are appearing by the minute on literally every medium – the internet via social networking sites, blogs and news websites, as well as on radio, TV and in print. It is at such times of large-scale catastrophes that we get a true sense of the incredible power of the Internet and social media.
At the same time, it’s disconcerting to think that up until the quake struck, the world was largely indifferent to the plight of the Haitian people. It is sad to think that global concern for the poor and the dispossessed cannot be sustained unless we see thousands of people suffer and die.
Hats off to the many who, over the years, have wholeheartedly and consistently devoted their lives to helping the destitute and marginalised in Haiti and other parts of the world through various non-profit organizations, charities, political pressure groups, human rights organizations, governmental relief agencies and some sections of the media; likewise the individuals who assist in whatever way they can. Their contributions to the least among us prove that when it comes to humanity, all is not lost in the world.
Congratulations to Signal FM Haiti, the lone radio station currently operating in Haiti and the other Haitian media that continue to serve courageously as bridges between the Haitian people and their families around the world. Kudos also to the other news sites and social media who keep us updated on the tragic developments in the stricken island. Below are links to some of the more captivating stories and photos coming out of Haiti.
Haiti Earthquake: Twitter Pictures Sweep Across the Web [PHOTOS]
An outpouring of well wishes and support for the Haitian people has swept the web in the wake of a devastating 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. http://mashable.com/2010/01/12/haiti-earthquake-pictures/
48 hours after the Quake (PHOTOS):
Update From Doctors Without Borders in Port-au-Prince
Stefano Zannini, the head of mission for Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres / MSF) in Haiti, spoke to reporters about the organization’s operations in response to the catastrophic earthquake. http://www.boingboing.net/2010/01/15/haiti-update-from-do.html#previouspost
Haiti Earthquake Displaces 300,000
In its first estimate, the United Nations reports about 10 percent of the housing in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince has been destroyed, leaving some 300,000 people homeless. The UN says a full assessment of the damages inflicted by the powerful earthquake will take several days to complete. http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/americas/Haiti-Earthquake-Displaces-300000-81723677.html
US Policy in Haiti Over Decades “Lays the Foundation for Why Impact of Natural Disaster Is So Severe”
Democracy Now! holds a discussion on Haiti with Bill Quigley, legal director at the Center for Constitutional Rights and Brian Concannon, director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti. http://www.democracynow.org/2010/1/14/us_policy_in_haiti_over_decades#
New York Times News blog: Updates on Rescue and Recovery in Haiti: http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/15/latest-updates-on-rescue-and-recovery-in-haiti/
CIA World fact Book – Facts about Haiti: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ha.html
UPDATE: France bridles at US Haiti take-over
It did not take long for France to start quarrelling with the United States over Haiti. The American take-over of the relief operation has not gone down well with Paris. Media cover over the past two days has depicted a virtual American invasion, with heavy-handed military pushing around French agencies. The words domination and even occupation were used on radio news reports this morning. Read more … http://timescorrespondents.typepad.com/charles_bremner/2010/01/it-did-not-take-long-for-france-to-start-bickering-with-the-united-states-over-haiti-the-american-take-over-of-the-relie.html