Friday, January 15, 2010


One of the less gruesome photographs coming out of Haiti.


I have just seen the latest headlines coming out of Haiti

Haiti earthquake survivors blockade roads with piles of corpses in protest at lack of aid

* Machete-wielding gangs roam streets fighting for food
* Reports of widespread looting across Port-au-Prince
* Military tell aid agencies they need guards to deal with volatile situation
* 7,000 corpses are dumped in Haiti's first mass grave
* Aid workers pour on to island as emergency fund launched
* Fears for British woman Ann Barnes who worked in collapsed UN building
* Hundreds of criminals on the streets after prison collapses

A Nightmare.

There are numerous planes on the ground but no one to unload the emergency supplies. And they cannot take off again as there is no fuel. There were planes circling but unable to land because of the congestion on the ground.

I was so upset at the graphic pictures that came on the news last night and the constant coverage by CNN, I eventually had to turn off. To see hardened reporters and foreign correspondents in tears and lost for words was just too much. The upside of the reporting is that they are able to interview people who have relatives elsewhere so that word can get out that they survived. CNN's medical correspondent Gupta is on the scene and I watched him taking care of a tiny baby. There are no hospitals. Haiti is in urgent need of medical supplies - people who survived the quake will die if they don't get antibiotics. Limbs cannot be reset. Simple things are not available. By Saturday there will be 9,000 people in there to keep the peace. Looting is more prevalent this morning than it was earlier. People can only take so much. Heavy equipment is needed but the emergency services cannot get it in.

Bodies are just being literally shovelled up and dumped in vast containers where they will be burned. It sounds callous but it's the only way as disease will set in very quickly if they are left. One has to remember the scorching temperatures which speeds decomposure.

Two million children have been orphaned to date and are in need of care.

Haitian Boy

Tears and blood fill the streets. Haitian-born rap star Wyclef Jean, who spent Thursday helping pick up the dead, called it "the apocalypse".

Haiti is part of CARICOM (The Caribbean Community and Common Market) and whilst countries from all over the world are sending aid, Trinidad and Tobago's Prime Minister issued a statement stating that there would be a meeting of CARICOM Heads to determine what they should do about this "as there is a tendency after such a disaster, for aid to fall into the wrongs hands." What absolute arrogance. CARICOM is fiddling whilst Haiti burns and the nasty piece of work of a Prime Minister who governs my adopted country has the audacity to make such statements. We should be putting heavy equipment on our fast ferries and getting it there to help.

Trinidad needs to wake up. It has been fortunate that an earthquake of such magnitude has not happened here. We do get mild earthquakes and tremours on a regular basis and the University seismologists have been predicting a major one right here for months. But in typical Trini fashion, few believe that we will be hit. The last earthquake in Haiti was 200 years ago - the same will happen here. I know that there are disasters of enormous proportions on a daily basis all over the world but when it hits so close to home, one has to wake up and smell the coffee.


  1. The efforts here are enormous. Yes, we are constantly reminded to be careful about who we donate our money to as there are those who try to scam the innocent victims of natural disasters. The American Red Cross is always a safe place, as are churches. The people of Haiti are hurting in a way most of us will never know. We, the fortunate, must help those who cannot help themselves.

    Thank you for this blog.

  2. I have a friend that gives time to disaster relief with the Red Cross and she is scared to go down to Haiti. And the Red Cross wants some degree of order so its volunteers will not be killed.

    The people running in the streets with machetes is a definite turn off for aid workers to say the least.

    When hurricane Inke hit Kauai the people banded together to cook and help each other. Restaurants gave food from the refrigerators and freezers )it would spoil anyway in the heat. While when Andrew hit Florida within a week the people just sat on their ruined yards and bitched to news people about the lack of ice water.

    If you block roads with bodies how can you expect supplies to reach you?

  3. How will this end? It is unbelievable. I too can only watch so much. A feeling of such helplessness and frustration.

  4. Numerous charities here in Australia are mobilising and sending relief to Haiti. There are several appeals collecting money and our government has already committed some aid to this disaster.

    I am hoping that the aid gets there as quickly as possible so that as many of the survivors get immediate relief!


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