UPDATE – WEDS FEB 10 — See New Photos at the bottom of this post. A look at the latest developments in Haiti on Tuesday, Feb 9, 2010 more than 28 days after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake devastated the capital, Port-au-Prince:
Haiti’s government raises estimate on deaths caused by Jan. 12 quake to 230,000 — the same death toll as the 2004 Asian tsunami — and says the number of dead is expected to rise as more bodies are counted. The previous death toll was 212,000.
DAY OF MOURNING
Haitian government declares Friday, Feb. 12, a public holiday to give the nation a chance to mourn and “pay homage to the innumerable victims of the earthquake, many buried in anonymity.”
JOLIE MEETS ORPHANS
Angelina Jolie begins two days of meetings with earthquake victims in her role as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
Doctors work on a man who two Haitians say had been trapped by debris since the Jan. 12 earthquake. The account couldn’t be confirmed and doctors say the patient may have been provided food and water during his reported ordeal.
SOUTH AMERICAN SUPPORT
South American presidents meeting in Quito, Ecuador, pledge to help Haiti by sending construction equipment to build new houses and schools, agricultural and educational experts, and cargo ships loaded with food.
UPDATE – FRIDAY, Jan 15: Recent pictures from Haiti show that there is despair among the Haitian people clamoring for food, water and medical care is turning into simmering anger as relief workers struggle to reach earthquake victims. The Haitian people, as well as the thousands of foreign missionaries and aid workers trapped in the country’s capital, are entering day three without food or water.
NEW: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in quake-battered Haiti on Saturday afternoon and immediately went into meetings with officials there.
Supply pallets have piled up by the tons in the Port-au-Prince airport with no way to reach the hardest hit communities. “We’re waiting, we’re waiting for three or four days, just cannot do nothing,” one Haitian man said, his frustration painfully obvious. “The president is staying at the airport while he does nothing for us.” “We need help because it’s urgent,” another citizen pleaded. With the worst earthquake in recent years devastating Haiti on Tuesday, and with most communications damaged badly, people desperately tried to communicate with their relatives and friends to find out whether they could survive the devastating earthquake. Once again, mobile technology and social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook proved to be the source of most “on the ground” updates surrounding of the incident. It is only through the social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook that we got an “on the ground” minute-by-minute concrete view of the devastation of the earthquake. People were given further insight when the Los Angeles Times published a list of Twitter users believed to be tweeting from Haiti. Twitter is full of well wishes for the affected people in Haiti. Residents took pictures in their mobile phone and published it on web, which is giving us a glimpse of the tragic occurrence in the Caribbean. Haitians groups across Chicago — a city settled by Haitian fur trader Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable — were communicating and would likely mobilize for relief efforts this week, church secretary Darryl August said.
@MarvinAdy, a Twitter user has also shared a lot of pictures of this devastating incident which has received wide responses. Thousands of pictures and updates are coming on Facebook and Twitter each second. People in Haiti with mobile phones sent heart-wrenching pictures to Twitpic, a popular photo-sharing compliment to Twitter, soon after the disaster, including Twitter user Lisandro Suero (@lisandrosuero), who documented the aftermath firsthand.Web has become the primary medium of communication and interaction about this catastrophe, which has thoroughly shaken the Caribbean nation.
TwitPic is a service that lets people post pictures using the wildly popular microblogging service that allows users to fire off text messages of no more than 140 characters in widespread shotgun-blast style. A set of pictures posted by LisandroSuero included before and after shots of a presidential palace damaged in the deadly 7.0 magnitude temblor that struck the Caribbean island nation Tuesday. The quake toppled buildings and triggered fears that hundreds had been killed. Another Lisandro Suero picture showed a woman covered in dust and buried up to her knees in rubble.
Photos taken by journalist @CarelPedre on his mobile phone are providing a glimpse into the devastation that has slammed the Caribbean nation. With phone service down, she (@carelpedre) offered to serve as a messenger between those wanting to inquire about loved ones: “If U Need To get in Touch With Friends & Family in Haiti. Send me a Private Message with names and Phone Numbers. I’ll get Back to U!” Another Twitter user, @MarvinAdy, shared those pictures through TwitPic, resulting in tens of thousands of view and countless retweets.
There are also thousands of Facebook and Twitter updates on the disaster appearing every minute. The web has been moved by the plight of the Haitian people. The Red Cross (@redcross) is also tweeting for support: “You can text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross relief efforts in #haiti.”
To follow the aftermath, simply search for #haiti or #haitihelp hashtags. Numerous interesting links are popping up, including one article about how the earthquake was long overdue, (via @pareidoliac). Edwidge Danticat, award-winning Haitian-American author who lives in Miami, also spoke up (via @tamlush). Meanwhile, hip-hop star Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs is also pleading for help to raise funds for those affected. Taking to his Twitter.com page, he writes, “God Bless Haiti!!!! God please!!! STATE OF EMERGENCY!!!” He then requested fans donate cash to Jean’s Yele Haiti charity organisation.
A website dedicated to all that happens in Haiti – quickly overhauled its home page to dedicate itself to the earthquake and its after-effects. It aggregated photos, videos and news on the disaster.
For those wanting a scientific aspect to what had occurred, the US Geological Survey published detailed data on the 7.0 quake on its website almost as soon as it was detected. These included maps, graphs and other tables.
What people on the ground in Haiti are saying on Twitter:
“Phones are working somewhat in Haiti. Can’t get a hold of my family though.” – From Twitter user zabelbok in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, at 8:12 a.m.
“Church groups are singing throughout the city all through the night in prayer. It is a beautiful sound in the middle of a horrible tragedy.” — From Twitter user troylivesay in Port-au-Prince at 03:09 a.m.
“The Haitian people are strong and resilient beyond measure. This city and her people already looked resolved to get up, dust off, and move on.” — troylivesay at 3:08 a.m.
“Felt that, loud and clear. We’re in Cap Haitien. House (really the whole world) shook for about 30 seconds” — From Twitter user firesideint (Luke Renner) at 5:20 p.m. ET
“this s***is still shaking ! major earthquake in haiti !” — From Twitter user fredodupouxat 5:20 p.m. ET
“Just experienced a MAJOR earthquake here in Port au Prince – walls were falling down. – we are ALL fine – pray for those in the slums” – From Twitter user troylivesay in Port-au-Prince, Haiti at 5:24 p.m. ET
“words on the streets part of Hotel Montana Fell , exagone is cracked. houses in canape vert fell down #haiti #eq” – From Twitter user fredodupoux in Haiti at 6:05 p.m. ET
Last weekend, members of the Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti in Evanston outside Chicago were celebrating the 206th anniversary of Haiti’s independence from France. After this powerful earthquake there Tuesday, members of the Haitian heritage organization — like Haitians across the area and the nation — pray and wait for word on the extent of devastation to their Caribbean homeland.Our best wishes go out to the victims of this devastating natural disaster, as well as their families.
FEB 10 PHOTOS