Worst Earthquake in 200 Years Hits Haiti
The Caribbean nation of Haiti has been hit by a devastating earthquake, measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale. Massive efforts are currently underway in an attempt to rescue those trapped under the rubble from fallen buildings.
Panic spread across the country as the strongest earthquake to hit Haiti in 200 years brought down buildings around people; it could be felt at great distances, even as far as Cuba. The Presidential Palace has been reduced to rubble, and thousands of Haitians are feared dead as the search for people continues, much to the fear of our Caribbean escorts . Some American and Australian citizens are also missing.
It was a sad sight as thousands gathered in the streets and public squares last night, some pleading for help and some weeping or singing hymns. There were no emergency services available and a hospital building had been brought down in the quake. Survivors had no access to doctors immediately after the catastrophe.
So far, an official death toll has not been released. It is expected to reach hundreds, if not thousands. Many people have been forced to desert their homes which are now unsafe and unstable, if not already a pile of bricks. They have been left to squat in public spaces such as sports grounds; aftershocks continue to shake the city so it is unwise for anyone to risk going back inside.
Shortly after the earthquake hit last night, communications went down making it difficult for emergency services to respond. Efforts continued throughout the night too free those buried or trapped in the debris. Rubble blocking the roads made it hard for emergency vehicles to take the wounded to hospital; the images from the aftermath are harrowing.
Tens of thousands have now been left homeless, and more aid workers are travelling to Haiti to help the victims of this tragic earthquake. Through the night, flash lights were used in an attempt to find casualties under the rubble. There have been reports of people crying, screaming, running and staring into space in shock. This has been a tragedy of massive proportions; Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Western world and is heavily relying on International aid. The country is in need of financial aid, food and water supplies and medical supplies first, but then will need long term help rebuilding the city.