November 26, 2013 at 4:28 PM EST
October 9, 2013 at 11:30 AM EST
A Hatian woman receives a vaccine for cholera.
A group of human rights lawyers are suing the U.N. on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Haitians who have contracted cholera since the 2010 earthquake. The suit alleges that the cholera pathogen was introduced to Haiti inadvertently by a group of U.N. peacekeepers who traveled to the island from Nepal to provide aid after the earthquake. While the U.N.'s own research has determined that the source of the outbreak was inconclusive, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and prevention traced the outbreak to the U.N. personnel. The U.N. has not commented on the suit.
August 23, 2011 at 6:06 PM EST
Text updated 7:52 p.m. ET | Tuesday afternoon's earthquake was a shared experience for millions of Americans along the East Coast, but how intense was it where you live?
Enter your ZIP code to see how intense the quake was reported to be where you live and how far you were from the epicenter in Virginia:
Data updated at 10 a.m. ET Thursday
Note: The measurement in each ZIP code is based off of reports submitted by people there who felt the quake. You can help make this measurement more accurate by taking the USGS survey and sharing your experience. It takes about a minute to fill out and thousands of people already have.
When you finish, the survey generates a Roman numeral, giving you the approximate intensity in your ZIP code. Remember, this is not the magnitude of the earthquake where you were. Check the number against the color scale and definitions below.
These numbers are on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale, which is on a different scale than earthquake magnitude:» Read More ...
August 23, 2011 at 2:58 PM EST
The above map shows earthquake activity in the United States in the past week: These maps requires the Google Earth browser plugin. Download the plugin here.
Updated at 6:32 pm ET:
A 5.8-magnitude temblor shook much of the densely populated East Coast Tuesday afternoon, including Washington, D.C., and New York City, with reports of tremors being felt as far as Ohio, Canada and the Carolinas.
The earthquake was centered in Mineral, Va. -- 27 miles east of Charlottesville and 39 miles northwest of Richmond, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. There have been no reports of damage or serious injuries, but plenty of disruptions to daily life being reported around the East Coast.
This marks the largest earthquake ever recorded in an area known as the Central Virginia Seismic Zone, said USGS geophysicist David Applegate.
But to put in perspective, the 9.0 earthquake that struck Japan earlier this year released 33,000 times more energy than a magnitude 6.0 quake, he said.
People in Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia -- many of whom are unaccustomed to quakes -- rushed out of buildings and into the streets. The White House, the Pentagon and the Capitol were among the buildings evacuated. Cell phone networks were jammed with people calling loved ones, and airports grounded some flights. Several nuclear power plants have reportedly been taken offline.
Earthquakes in the Eastern United States are usually felt over a much broader area than earthquakes of the same magnitude out west, Applegate said. This is due to a combination of things. "The crust tends to be older, it tends to colder and it transmits energy very efficiently." Plus, thick accumulations of sediment in the Eastern U.S. amplify the shaking.
In 2008, for example, an earthquake that struck near the Illinois border was felt over 16 states, he said.
"Much of the United States is threatened by earthquakes, not just Alaska and the West Coast. Great earthquakes have struck the East Coast of the United States and they could again," Robert Hamilton, author of a recent National Academy of Sciences report, told the NewsHour.
» Read More ...
The East Coast quake came a day after Colorado experienced its largest natural earthquake in more than a century, when a 5.3-magnitude quake struck near the city of Trinidad.
April 12, 2011 at 12:38 PM EST
Cholera patients in Port-au-Prince. Photo by Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images.
The months-long rainy season is just beginning in Haiti, boosting the number of cases of cholera just as critical sanitation services are in limbo.
Cholera is waterborne and often spreads through sewage, making it harder to contain in rainy, wet conditions. In the three weeks prior to the rains, the Partners in Health cholera center in Mirebalais, Haiti, saw 500 cases combined, but the weather has brought a new rise in cases.
"Since the rainy season began in the last two weeks, we've seen 1,000 cases," said David Walton, who runs the center.
While many of the new cases are less severe than the deadly wave that first hit the country last fall, Walton said the uptick could be an indicator of things to come.
"I worry that given what I've seen, we could be overwhelmed again at the cholera centers," he said.
The country is seeing about 2,000 new cases of cholera a week, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, but a lack of funds for sanitation services could make the situation worse.
Just 17 percent of OCHA's $915 million appeal for Haiti is funded, said spokesperson Emmanuelle Schneider from Port-au-Prince. And while some activities are being transitioned to the Haitian government, the money available is simply "not enough," she said.
"If we are not able to keep sanitation activities in camps, latrines are going to overflow, it's going to be a source of cholera contamination -- there will be open defecation," Schneider said.
OCHA provides latrines to 1.5 million people and water to 1.2 million through free water trucking. The administration of the next president, newly-elected Michel Martelly, will have to absorb these services without additional aid, as it balances the many needs of the more than 680,000 people still living in tent camps.
"If we don't manage to make a transition that is successful, obviously we are risking...a mortality rate that is going up," Schneider said.
The mortality rate for the disease has dropped to 1.7 percent nationally, OCHA says, down from close to 9 percent, but the distribution of deaths is uneven and rural areas without access to services are still at risk.
There have been an estimated 250,000 reported cases since October, and more than 4,600 deaths, according to the Pan American Health Organization.» Read More ...
January 12, 2011 at 9:35 AM EST
Wednesday marks one year since a magnitude-7 earthquake devastated Haiti on January 12, 2010, killing more than 230,000 people and injuring many more.
Rick Loomis, a Pulitzer-Prize winning photographer for the Los Angeles Times, arrived in Haiti one day after the quake to document the tragedy. He returned to the country again in November to cover a looming hurricane and the growing outbreak of cholera.
In the slide show below, Loomis spoke with the NewsHour about the events he witnessed and the Haitian people's fight for survival through destruction and disease.
WARNING: This video contains some graphic imagery.
All images © 2010 Los Angeles Times / Rick Loomis
January 11, 2011 at 12:01 PM EST
Ray Suarez in Haiti, July 2010
This past summer, I stood at the edge of a fetid pool of standing water. Marooned in the middle of the deepening pool were two forlorn soccer goals, indicating a place that wasn't always under water. On a raised berm of soil at the water's edge were maybe 50 tents, pushed into a corner of what had been a more roomy tent settlement before the rains came and the waters rose.
Children scampered amidst the crazy criss-cross of ropes holding up the tents, darting in and out of the tiny lanes created by people who were both trying to stay above water and create a little space between the makeshift shelters.
An EU aid agency had supplied a water container. It was an enormous tank that could be filled by a passing water truck, but too small for a settlement this size. It sat flopped on the edge of the stagnant water like a beached whale, and after each family filled a plastic jug from the spigot at one end, it dropped into the filthy water.
The observers from an international relief agency wanted a foreign reporter to see the terrible conditions, but seemed unaware of how impotent it made them seem. I was told they were looking for another place to move people, but landowners alarmed by the rampant squatting all around Port-au-Prince were now strongly asserting their claims, so it was difficult.
At that moment, all the futility, all the suffering, all the good will, and all the furious but inept activity of the Haitian capital was laid bare.
A sweet, decent, and increasingly worried Renald Derazin, the only camp resident who spoke English, was describing his accidental little community and its sufferings. He told me of repeated visits to aid agencies and government offices. The kids were getting sick. Biting insects were breeding in the water. His beautiful little daughter was among the children playing among the tents. After she had fallen and knocked over a pot of boiling water, the girl was waiting with Derazin's wife for treatment in a hospital emergency room on January 12. The ground started shaking, the two fled, and the emergency room collapsed. The horrifying scalding was never properly treated. A scar ran from her thigh to her armpit. It was hard to look at without wincing.
Watch my visit to Derazin's camp below:» Read More ...
January 11, 2011 at 11:55 AM EST
When last year's earthquake struck Haiti, more than 4,000 inmates escaped from prison. They easily slipped into the streets of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, hiding in the city's slums and tent cities. A crippled police force found themselves once again losing a battle against gang leaders for control of the city, one they had previously been winning.
In Tuesday's Frontline documentary, "Battle for Haiti", producer Dan Reed tells the story of Haiti's earthquake through the perspective of both the police and escaped prisoners, many of whom say they were wrongly imprisoned and have not been heard in court.
Kwame Holman talks with Dan Reed about the film:
Watch a preview of "Battle for Haiti":
January 10, 2011 at 4:40 PM EST
New figures on reconstruction aid to Haiti reveal that while billions have been pledged, international donors were slow to deliver funds in 2010.
Some key figures:
International donors pledged $2.01 billion for Haiti reconstruction and recovery efforts in 2010, but only 63.6 percent of that sum, $1.28 billion, was dispersed last year, according to new figures from the office of the U.N. special envoy for Haiti.
Fifty-five countries and international organizations made the pledges at a March 2010 international donors conference aimed at helping Haiti build back from the earthquake that devastated the country on January 12, 2010.
A total of $4.46 billion was pledged over 2010 and 2011, excluding debt relief aid. About $3.18 billion would need to be dispersed by public sector donors in 2011 to meet the pledges fully.
Donors were slow to begin delivery of the reconstruction funds -- as of July 2010 only 2 percent of funds had been delivered, prompting special envoy and former President Bill Clinton to publicly call for increased pressure. Fourteen countries have still not dispersed any of the money they pledged for 2010.
Aside from the reconstruction pledges however, many nations gave generously to humanitarian efforts in the emergency response on their own.» Read More ...
January 7, 2011 at 2:38 PM EST
The emergency response phase in Haiti is not yet over, but the process of reconstruction is moving forward, Ambassador Kenneth Merten told Jeffrey Brown this week in Port-au-Prince.
"We are at the one year point now, and things have been rebuilt and are being rebuilt. But it is not by any stretch of the imagination a rebuilt city yet," Merten said. "What we are looking and hoping to help the Haitians do is to build back better, not just build back in the same problems that we had here on the 11th of January 2010."
Brown is in Haiti this week to report on reconstruction efforts from the Jan.12, 2010, earthquake that devastated the Port-au-Prince area, and on the cholera outbreak continuing to spread through the country.
Watch the full interview with Ambassador Merten below, and look for an update from Brown on Friday's NewsHour and for his reports during the week of Jan. 10.
January 6, 2011 at 12:15 PM EST
Jeffrey Brown is in Haiti this week reporting on reconstruction efforts after last year's earthquake. He's also following up on the country's ongoing cholera outbreak, which has killed more than 3,300 Haitians.
He filed this dispatch on the cholera story from the rural Artibonite valley region of Haiti. It's been hard hit by the highly infectious water-borne disease.
Stay tuned to the Rundown for more on Haiti, one year after the quake.
January 3, 2011 at 6:00 PM EST
Jan. 12 will mark one year since a powerful earthquake rocked Haiti. The NewsHour's Jeffrey Brown is reporting in Port-au-Prince and beyond this week on life in the country a year later, the recent cholera outbreak and more.
Brown filed this video dispatch Sunday from the Iron Market in the Haitian capital, the same site where Ray Suarez stood nearly a year ago, just days after the temblor had destroyed the city.
To see the state of Iron Market just after the quake, watch Ray Suarez's dispatch from Jan. 24, 2010, below.
Stay tuned to the Rundown for more from the NewsHour team in Haiti in the coming days.
December 17, 2010 at 6:00 AM EST
It's been nearly a year since a devastating earthquake rocked Haiti. The aftermath left the capital of Port-au-Prince shattered, thousands living in tent camps and aid organizations scrambling to assist Haitians already burdened with poverty, now burdened with a city in ruins.
In a new reporting collaboration, the NewsHour, USA Today and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting are exploring life in Haiti a year after the disaster. The first story will look at the problems facing Haitians living next door in the Dominican Republic. Could they become a stateless people?
The NewsHour is sending a team to Haiti in coming weeks to report on reconstruction efforts, continuing risks of health epidemics and the work of some Haitians to create poetry from their plight.
You can find all of the NewsHour's reporting on the earthquake aftermath here, including Ray Suarez's reports from Port-au-Prince six months later.
December 8, 2010 at 12:32 PM EST
Protesters run by burning tires on the street on Dec. 8, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters reportedly set fire to the headquarters of Haiti's ruling political party Wednesday, and thousands took to the streets, forcing the closure of the Port-au-Prince airport in reaction to controversial election results.
The protests began Tuesday night after the Provisional Electoral Council announced a runoff between two presidential hopefuls, including the government-backed candidate Jude Celestin.
Blockades of tires were set on fire throughout the city, and Wednesday a mob of protesters blocked the entrance to current President Rene Preval's private residence, Jacqueline Charles of the Miami Herald told the NewsHour. Demonstrators were chanting and holding signs in support of singer Michel Martelly, who did not make the run-off.
"It is mostly young guys, some women...they are running around with sticks. The mood is one of anger and resentment," said Charles. "The supporters feel that something has been stolen from them, that the vote was stolen."» Read More ...
November 9, 2010 at 3:47 PM EST
Cholera has officially spread to Port-au-Prince, where more than a million people are living in crowded tent camps and slums, prime conditions for spreading the highly contagious disease.
Testing confirmed a 3-year-old boy living in one of those tent camps as the first case of cholera originating in the capital city, chief medical officer of Hospital Bernard Mevs, Toni Eyssallenne, told reporters. The boy has not traveled outside of Port-au-Prince or had any known contact with anyone from the Artibonite region of Haiti where the outbreak began.
More than 9,000 people have been hospitalized and at least 583 people have died of cholera since it first surfaced in Haiti in October, according to the Ministry of Health.
The heavy rains and flooding over the weekend from Hurricane Tomas brought fresh fears that the epidemic cannot be contained.
"The flooding and mudslides from last week's hurricane pushed rivers over their banks, very likely spreading cholera further," said deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization, Jon Andrus. "The bacteria has a foothold in the river system and other bodies of water and it will remain."» Read More ...
October 27, 2010 at 2:33 PM EST
Deaths from Haiti's cholera outbreak are slowing, but health experts warn that the threat of further spread, fueled by chronically unsanitary conditions, is still very real.
At least 284 Haitians have died of the highly-contagious waterborne illness in the past week, and the World Health Organization said Wednesday the disease is not yet contained.
"I think we haven't reached the peak," Claire-Lise Chaignat, the organization's cholera chief, told reporters.
The equation for preventing the spread of cholera sounds simple enough: safe drinking water, frequent and thorough hand washing, and access to clean latrines.
But even before the January earthquake that displaced 1.5 million people in Port-au-Prince, access to these services in Haiti was among the worst in the world. Less than half of Haitians could get clean water, and only 20 percent had access to a toilet, according to the NGO Oxfam International.
"It's far worse in rural regions so the lesson to be learned in this cholera outbreak is that there is a very poor water and sanitation infrastructure in this country," said Julie Schindall a media officer with Oxfam in Haiti. "People are very vulnerable and we can't just think about Port-au-Prince."» Read More ...
October 22, 2010 at 5:00 PM EST
Health officials fear a cholera outbreak in rural Haiti that has killed at least 142 people and sickened more than 1,500 will spread to other parts of Haiti, including the earthquake-ravaged capital Port-au-Prince.
The waterborne bacterial infection, which causes severe diarrhea and vomiting and can lead to death by dehydration in hours if left untreated, struck the Artibonite region north of the capital. The region did not sustain much direct damage from the Jan. 12 earthquake, but thousands have taken refuge there after losing their homes in the quake.
"Now we are making sure people are fully aware of precautionary measures they have to take to prevent contamination," Haiti's President Rene Preval told Reuters.» Read More ...
September 14, 2010 at 1:40 PM EST
When the NewsHour team first met George Exantus in Port-au-Prince we were immediately captivated by his story: a prize-winning competitive dancer, Exantus lost his right leg below the knee after he was pinned under rubble for two days in the Jan. 12 earthquake.
Still determined to dance, Exantus learned to move well on a donated prosthetic, but was unable to compete or teach. He dreamed of someday having those parts of his life back.
"The main thing for me is the idea of competing again, make money, teach and compete, and compete at a very high level," he told us in July. "But to dance you need an extremely expensive leg, but that's not available in Haiti. I will probably never get that."
Many NewsHour viewers were also captivated by his story and expressed their desire to help. This month, thanks to the generosity of Freedom Innovations, which donated a new high-tech foot, and the Hanger Sable Foundation, Exantus received the sophisticated prosthetic he thought he would never have.
Watch Exantus take his new leg for a spin:
August 5, 2010 at 5:32 PM EST
Grammy-winning recording artist and philanthropist Wyclef Jean has confirmed reports that he plans to run for president of his homeland of Haiti. On Thursday, he filed the paperwork to run at an electoral council office in Port-au-Prince.
Jean, who said he was inspired to run by the devastating earthquake there, will discuss his plans Thursday night on CNN's Larry King Live. He confirmed his bid Thursday morning on a Miami radio station.
"My decision is a draft. ... I've been drafted by the youth," Jean told Time magazine on Tuesday.
Jean, whose full name is Nel Ust Wycliffe Jean, is widely known for both his music and philanthropy in Haiti, where half the population is under age 21. In 2007, he was appointed ambassador at large, tasked with helping improve Haiti's image abroad.
In 2005, with the launch of his non-profit Yele Haiti Foundation, Jean aimed at infusing the poor island nation with money and talent with the hopes of effecting change. Following the Jan. 12 earthquake, Jean called upon donors worldwide for aid and established the Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund.» Read More ...
July 29, 2010 at 3:06 PM EST
The tent camps of Port-au-Prince have all the makings of disease breeding grounds; thousands of people living in temporary shelters, in very close contact, completely reliant on aid for clean water and sanitation services.
But as the disaster response from the Jan. 12 earthquake nears the seven month mark, not a single large outbreak has occurred. It's a victory that that's been heralded by Haiti's president, prime minister and the many NGO actors in the country alike.
"It is truly one of the great successes of this response," said Julie Sell, spokesperson for the American Red Cross in Haiti. "It is really quite remarkable that something hasn't happened on a large scale."
That's not to say that the camps have been disease free. There are cases of malaria, dengue fever, and other illnesses endemic to the region, and an outcrop of typhoid cases required an intervention in one of the camps, said the World Health Organization Haiti office.
"We also see a lot of urinary tract infections and skin diseases because of the unsanitary conditions," said Charles Lor, an epidemiologist with the International Medical Corps in Haiti.» Read More ...
July 15, 2010 at 5:58 PM EST
It's nearly dusk in Port-au-Prince on a recent sweltering summer evening, and four women at the Health Center of Croix des Bouquets are in the early stages of labor.
They are all expected to give birth by morning and will each be attended by the one nurse-midwife staffed for the night shift.
Already today, one of the public clinic's doctors had to keep a woman suffering from postpartum hemorrhage, or severe bleeding at birth, from dying. Another patient who is almost full term is losing the amniotic fluid that protects her fetus. If it continues, her unborn baby could die.
None of this is unusual for the clinic, which has been forced to take on a flood of new patients, like all the health facilities across Port-au-Prince that remained standing after the Jan. 12 earthquake. Health Center of Croix des Bouquets, which provides services for free to the public, saw between 60 and 70 births a month before the quake, but now attends to about 150 a month.» Read More ...
July 14, 2010 at 5:33 PM EST
With 1.5 million Haitians still living in tent camps, international organizations and the government are struggling to find legally available land for new settlements and ways to decongest the existing camps. The government is now advising people who can return home safely to do so, as a preferred option.
Throughout Port-au-Prince, on side streets and behind security walls, many Haitians are doing just that, even if their houses are uninhabitable. Tiny private tent camps have sprouted up in yards and driveways as people try to start over on their old land.
July 14, 2010 at 11:49 AM EST
All week the NewsHour is reporting on the state of recovery in Haiti, six months after a powerful earthquake devastated the impoverished island nation.
As we've reported earlier, thousands of Haitians continue to live in tent camps after their homes were destroyed in the disaster. Now these camps have taken on a life of their own, with businesses and schools, among other things. Find more in this photo essay:
July 13, 2010 at 4:28 PM EST
The temperature has been in the mid-90s, but the humidity makes it feel like it's over 100. The sun pounds the pavement, heat radiates from the cinder block walls that push pedestrians to a narrow strip of sidewalk in most of Port au Prince.
When I was here in the days after the January earthquake, people in the relief and emergency aid business looked with worry at the tent neighborhoods sprouting from every empty space across the city: If people stayed in these makeshift shelters too long, it was said, eventually they wouldn't be so flimsy. Families that assumed they were going to live in the camps for the long haul would harden their shelters, and the camps would gradually morph into shantytowns.
Today in the Haitian capital, that process is well under way. Plywood, corrugated tin, beams, pieces of old iron gates ... they've been incorporated into the structures along with sheeting and tarps from international charities to make homes with a better chance of making it through the tropical storm season.
So what now?» Read More ...
July 12, 2010 at 2:40 PM EST
Six months after a powerful earthquake rocked Haiti, more than one million people are still homeless and the people of Port-au-Prince and surrounding regions continue to suffer the economic, physical and mental after-effects of the devastating temblor.
The NewsHour has returned to Haiti for a series of reports on where the recovery effort stands now.
"Things are moving ahead on several different tracks at once," Ray Suarez says. "Banks are open, a lot more people are employed but the conditions in the camps are really still pretty terrible."
Watch a preview here:
Tune in to Monday's NewsHour for the full report.
July 9, 2010 at 5:35 PM EST
PORT-AU-PRINCE | Renette Saintjuste stocks a dizzying mix of items for her tiny makeshift shop in the Centre Sportif Dadadou tent camp in Haiti's capital.
Fresh eggs, dried pasta, soap, earrings and cookware are all for sale to her customers, the more than 10,000 camp inhabitants living on an AstroTurf soccer field -- formerly part of an upscale Port-au-Prince sports complex.
"There are a lot of people living close together here and they all need food; they all need items," she said.
On every sidewalk and corner of Port-au-Prince there are entrepreneurs like Saintjuste trying to make enough money to get by. Barbers cut hair on the street, mechanics repair motorcycles wherever there is room and merchants are hocking everything from water in plastic bags, to bottles of wine.
Saintjuste built the shop with tarp and wood poles just after the January earthquake, and uses the money she makes to support herself and her six children.
She borrowed small amounts of cash from friends to buy her initial inventory and paid them back with interest. Saintjuste is making more now than before the earthquake -- sometimes as much as 400 Haitian Gourde, or about $10, per day.» Read More ...
July 8, 2010 at 4:47 PM EST
An estimated 1.5 million Haitians were displaced in January's earthquake. Six months later, the majority of that population is still living in tent settlements and the medical infrastructure is still fragile. A reporting team from the PBS NewsHour, including senior correspondent Ray Suarez, has returned to Haiti to assess where things stand.
The slide show below offers a snapshot of scenes from Port-au-Prince. And stay tuned to the NewsHour online and on-air to see reports from Haiti in the coming days.
July 7, 2010 at 11:45 AM EST
Haitian washes clothes in tent camp. Photo by Thony Belizaire/AFP/Getty Images
When I left Haiti in February, just three weeks after the earthquake that took 250,000 lives, I knew I would have to come back.
The destruction had been so complete, the suffering so great, the dislocation so extensive, that I knew we were looking at the very beginning of Haiti's story.
I also saw very little at the time that I would count as encouraging when trying to figure out how the ravaged capital, Port-au-Prince, would fare over the coming months. I knew the people, most of them, most of the time, would figure something out ... how to get over for another day, how to find something to sell, for money or goods that could be used to buy something else that was needed, or sellable.» Read More ...
June 17, 2010 at 1:40 PM EST
As Haiti continues to rebuild from January's earthquake, educating and training more Haitian doctors and nurses is essential to reviving and restructuring the country's hobbled health system, says the country's health minister.
"The state of New York has more Haitian physicians than Haiti itself," Health Minister Alex Larsen said at a panel discussion on the health system's future, held in Washington, D.C., Wednesday.
Speaking through a translator, Larsen emphasized the need to train and retain health care workers by providing better salaries and incentives to stay in the country, and by keeping foreign recruiters from luring Haitian trained workers away as soon as they receive diplomas.
Even before the earthquake, the country's health system was in dire straits, relying heavily on NGO assistance. According to 2009 World Health Organization statistics, Haiti had one nurse and three doctors for every 10,000 people, and that was before the quake killed as many as 300,000 people and left 1.5 million homeless.» Read More ...
June 2, 2010 at 12:41 PM EST
Damaged and destroyed homes in Port-au-Prince. Photo by Thony Belizaire/AFP/Getty Images
As Haiti continues to rebuild more than four months after a devastating earthquake killed 200,000 people and wiped out much of the capital city, the country still faces a number of immediate and longer-term challenges.
About 500,000 people are still living in temporary shelters in Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas, according to the Haitian government and Camp Management and Camp Coordination cluster (CCCM), which has plotted the camps on this map.
The U.S. military is wrapping up relief efforts in Haiti, and Tuesday marked the start of the hurricane season, with some expressing concerns that the population's living conditions and country's general preparedness leave them vulnerable.
To learn more, we spoke on Tuesday with Trinity Washington University's Robert Maguire, who is also chairman of the U.S. Institute of Peace's Haiti Working Group:» Read More ...
April 6, 2010 at 8:20 PM EST
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck early Wednesday morning local time near Sumatra, Indonesia, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake triggered a tsunami warning in the region, but the Indonesian government lifted it within several hours.
Officials reported no immediate major damage or casualties.
Susan Potter, a USGS geophysicist, told The Rundown that the quake happened in a particularly active tectonic area, about 325 miles west of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and about 880 miles northwest of Jakarta. Hear our full conversation:» Read More ...
April 1, 2010 at 6:30 PM EST
A U.N.-sponsored donor conference in Haiti exceeded expectations and generated nearly $10 billion in pledges to help Haiti recover from a Jan. 12 earthquake, said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said on Wednesday's NewsHour that the donations will help Haiti move "beyond the emergency phase into real, lasting recovery and development. And the theme of the conference today ... is to build back Haiti better."
Now that the pledges have been made, what are the next steps? For that, we talked to Monika Kalra Varma, director of the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights. You can watch our conversation here:
Video edited by Larisa Epatko
March 31, 2010 at 5:19 PM EST
Representatives of 130 countries met Wednesday in New York to pledge support and funding for Haiti's vast rebuilding effort following its devastating January earthquake.
Haiti is seeking $3.8 billion over the next 18 months as the first step in an $11.5 billion package that President Rene Preval has sought to rebuild schools, hospitals and homes.
At the donor conference held at U.N. headquarters, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged nations to contribute toward the initial amount.» Read More ...
March 30, 2010 at 6:07 PM EST
On the eve of a major donors conference for Haiti in New York, Frontline correspondent Martin Smith checked in with us to discuss the chaos of the immediate aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake and the challenges that lie ahead.
The earthquake struck just as Haiti seemed to be turning over a new leaf economically.
Now, appeals for assistance will focus on re-establishing the most basic services and rebuilding entire cities, including the capital Port-au-Prince, that were left in ruins by the quake. The Haitian government estimates the country's needs at $11.5 billion.
An international donors conference begins Wednesday morning at U.N. headquarters in New York, but Smith points out that there are several immediate as well as long-term problems, including health risks posed by the rainy season, that loom.
Frontline's "The Quake" airs Tuesday night on most PBS stations.
View Smith's conversation with Hari Sreenivasan here:
You can also watch Monday's Frontline/NPR collaborative piece on how entrepreneurs are flourishing in Haiti's tent cities here.
March 8, 2010 at 1:07 PM EST
Despite high-profile quakes in Haiti, Chile and now Turkey, there actually hasn't been an uptick in seismic activity lately, Paul Caruso, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center, told The Rundown. Recent quakes have, however, struck close to population centers.
Earthquakes of Magnitude 5.0 or Greater in Past Week
View larger map Source: USGS
"Those buildings can be death traps," he said, "even in small earthquakes."» Read More ...
February 17, 2010 at 4:20 PM EST
A judge in Haiti has freed eight of the 10 American missionaries arrested on charges of child kidnapping after trying to bring 33 child survivors of last month's earthquake to an orphanage in the Dominican Republic.
Judge Bernard Saint-Vil said the missionaries could return home after nearly three weeks in jail on the condition that they return to Haiti to cooperate with the ongoing investigation into their case.
"They will not have to post bail," Saint-Vil was quoted by the Associated Press, "But they will have to come back at the request of the court."» Read More ...
February 17, 2010 at 3:10 PM EST
Recovery from the January earthquake that is believed to have killed hundreds of thousands of Haitians and left even more homeless could cost up to $14 billion, according to Latin America's main development bank.
The Inter-American Development Bank's preliminary estimate suggests the earthquake is likely the most devastating natural disaster in modern times, calling it "vastly more destructive than the Indonesian Tsunami of 2004 and the cyclone that hit Myanmar in 2008" on the bank's Web site.
"It caused five times more deaths per million inhabitants than the second-ranking natural killer, the 1972 earthquake in Nicaragua," the site said.» Read More ...
February 16, 2010 at 5:23 PM EST
Kate Starbird, a graduate student at the University of Colorado at Boulder, studies the use of Twitter during crises. When she and the other UC researchers heard about the massive earthquake in Haiti on Jan. 12, all they could do for the first two days was what everyone else was doing: watch the horrible images in the news and read about it as a devastating event rather than as a research subject.
"We were just so overwhelmed," she said. "We didn't know what to do."
But by the third day, they decided to go ahead and launch a Twitter initiative several months in the making, called "Tweak the Tweet". The objective is to repurpose tweets with a syntax, or language structure, in order to streamline the process of connecting people with specific needs in emergency situations with those who can provide it.» Read More ...
February 12, 2010 at 2:40 PM EST
Preventing the spread of disease in Haiti's quake-damaged cities, where thousands have taken refuge in temporary camps, is a formidable task in a country that already posed sanitation challenges. William Fellows, UNICEF's global water, sanitation and hygiene coordinator, explains in this audio slide show.
February 10, 2010 at 11:09 AM EST
For weeks following the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti, a steady stream of airplanes stuffed with medical and other relief supplies shuttled in and out of the Port-au-Prince airport. Adhering to a strict time frame, the workers had just two hours to offload tons of supplies to make room for the next planeload of aid.» Read More ...
February 5, 2010 at 11:40 AM EST
Kathie Klarreich, a freelance writer who also worked as a fixer/producer for the NewsHour in Haiti, sent us the story of one child's rescue from the earthquake rubble, her transfer to the United States for medical treatment, and her family's eager anticipation of her return:» Read More ...
February 4, 2010 at 8:10 PM EST
After returning from Port-au-Prince, senior correspondent Ray Suarez dropped by The Rundown to describe what it was like covering Haiti's earthquake recovery efforts, saying the terribleness of the situation was difficult to capture in words or pictures.
"There were people suffering everywhere you looked," he said, but added that there were also reminders of how decent people can be in tough situations.
Suarez described how his Boy Scouts gear and preparation came in handy and how the NewsHour team "went in heavy" with locally-hired drivers, a security guard and a Creole interpreter -- which is different than he usually prefers to report.
February 4, 2010 at 5:40 PM EST
The American missionaries detained in Haiti last week for trying to take 33 children to neighboring Dominican Republic have been charged with abduction and criminal association, according to prosecutors.
After announcing the charges, Haitian Deputy Prosecutor Jean Ferge Joseph told the Americans their case was being sent to an investigative judge, Reuters reported.
"That judge can free you but he can also continue to hold you for further proceedings," the deputy prosecutor told the five men and five women at a hearing.
If convicted, the 10 Baptist missionaries could face prison terms of up to 15 years. The group won't face an open trial, their attorney in Port-au-Prince, Edwin Coq, told the Associated Press. Instead, a judge will decide whether to free the Americans from a jail in the nation's capital.» Read More ...
February 3, 2010 at 5:21 PM EST
As part of the NewsHour's recent reporting trip to Haiti, the country's Minister of Tourism Patrick Delatour, who also heads the reconstruction commission, spoke with Ray Suarez about the government's reaction to the quake and the outpouring of international aid:
In part 2 of the interview, Delatour describes the history of the public's distrust of the government and what officials are doing in the current disaster to try to win that trust back.
The government is striving to be "totally wide open, having the international and national press and the Haitian people coming in and see how it is functioning and so that they can see and the Haitians recognize that the president is in the same situation as they are," Delatour says:
February 1, 2010 at 4:30 PM EST
The seaside town of Jacmel was badly damaged by the earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12. Soon after, however, micro-enterprises popped up and rebuilding began in the shattered town, reports American Red Cross volunteer Winnie Romeril.
View the audio slide show.
February 1, 2010 at 3:04 PM EST
Long lines form outside the immigration and emigration office in Port-au-Prince each day as Haitians wait hours, or even days, to apply for new passports or to replace old ones destroyed or lost in the Jan. 12 earthquake.
Many of those people intend to leave the country, if they can ever get to the front of the line, Ray Suarez reports. He spoke with several people waiting for that chance on Friday:
January 29, 2010 at 12:35 AM EST
Sometimes, the best things happen in the news business when you just happen to be at an optimal place, at an optimal moment. Today the NewsHour team was starting to shoot a story on the struggle to get the Haitian government back up and running after the earthquake. We met the tourism minister, Patrick Delatour, who is now assigned to coordinate reconstruction, and we began shooting video.
One of the interesting parts of this whole story is how little the government has been in evidence since the beginning of the crisis, when the earth stopped shaking Jan. 12 and Haiti found itself coping with a catastrophe.
Where was President Rene Preval? Oh, there he was, coming down the corridor, greeting us warmly, and stopping for a chat with the minister we're building our story around. The reporter we are working with in Haiti, Kathie Klarreich, knew Preval dating back to his first presidential run in the 1990s, and bingo... in a nondescript corridor in a shabby police station on the outskirts of town that now serves as the seat of Haiti's government, a broadcast exclusive with the president.» Read More ...
January 26, 2010 at 2:40 PM EST
Here's a crash course in Haitian economics:
Stores in the country's biggest city are closed, and don't appear ready to open very soon. Their employees and the employees of thousands of enterprises around the city haven't been to work in weeks, and have little or no money left.
So even if the businesses open, no one has money to spend in them.» Read More ...
January 25, 2010 at 5:44 PM EST
What constitutes good news in the midst of a tragedy like Haiti's? Today the NewsHour team headed out to Haiti's massive central plateau to see an operation that has stretched its modest resources to fit an oversized disaster.
The Partners in Health hospital in Cange is hours away from the sprawling Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. It is reached by a series of first-rate highways built by the European Union, and deeply-rutted, kidney-jarring roads that begin about halfway through the trip. Clear the busy, bustling front gate, and the visitor enters a calm and clean oasis a world away from the confusion, filth, and misery of a destroyed city. Over two decades, Partners in Health, with significant support from the Episcopal Church in the United States and individual American donors, has built a cluster of medical buildings to provide free basic medical care to the people of the central plateau.» Read More ...
January 25, 2010 at 2:41 PM EST
Haiti's Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive sought international commitments to aid his country in recovery from this month's devastating earthquake, saying it would take at least 5 to 10 years of reconstruction efforts.
"Haiti will need massive support in the medium and long term from its partners in the international community," he told an international aid conference in Montreal. "The challenge will require that we do more, that we do better and certainly that we do differently."
A senior government official told the New York Times that Haiti will ask for $3 billion to rebuild the city of Port-au-Prince, near the epicenter of the quake that left 200,000 people homeless.
Attendees to the conference included U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Canada's prime minister, foreign ministers from more than a dozen countries, eight international organizations and six major NGOs, reported the Associated Press.
Senior NewsHour correspondent Ray Suarez spoke with one of the attendees, Dr. Paul Farmer, the United Nations deputy special envoy to Haiti, in Port-au-Prince just before his departure for the meeting.
Farmer, also a physician who founded the non-profit Partners in Health, which has worked in Haiti for 25 years, told the NewsHour his message at the meeting will be that "transient interest in this problem is not only unhelpful, but very destructive."
"We are talking in Montreal about a ten-year plan. I think the acute relief efforts will go on; one hopes they'll be improved but that's not what we're talking about today," said Farmer. "We're talking about linking relief efforts to recovery and that's going to be years of effort."
Watch Ray Suarez's full interview with Farmer below and watch the PBS NewsHour tonight for more coverage from Haiti.
January 24, 2010 at 12:56 PM EST
Ray Suarez and a team from the NewsHour are in Port-au-Prince, reporting on the aftermath of an earthquake that has ravaged the Haitian captial and turned the eyes of the world back to the story of Haiti's larger struggle for survival.
"One building will be completely intact on a street, the next one absolutely leveled to the ground, nothing but a pile of dust and bricks, and shattered people sitting out on the sidewalk or filling up the public parks around the city," Suarez recounts of Port-au-Prince.
"Anywhere where there's open, flat land in Port-au-Prince today is covered in makeshift tent cities ... shelter cobbled together from whatever people could find on the street," he says.
In this dispatch for the Rundown, Suarez describes his journey to Haiti, the scene in Port-au-Prince and what he will be covering in the days ahead on the NewsHour.
January 23, 2010 at 11:33 PM EST
Maybe you've been riveted by the scenes of desperation and heroism from Haiti. Maybe you've seen the bodies stacked for burial by earth- moving equipment before anonymous masses are bulldozed into a pit. The "Haiti Story" isn't just one story any more ... it's two. One is a country still stunned by the scale of death and destruction. The other is the country that is figuring out how to cope with the jaw-dropping tragedy that started in fault lines way under ground.
The NewsHour team came into Haiti from the Dominican Republic, which has been pulled into the orbit of its next-door neighbor's horror. The Dominican army is mobilized to keep control of an open border. The Dominican health services are in harness, struggling alongside international agencies to triage and treat the thousands who've poured out of Haiti even in the past few days for long overdue treatment for terrible injuries.» Read More ...
January 22, 2010 at 4:18 PM EST
Haiti's government said Friday that some 400,000 survivors of the Jan. 12 earthquake would be relocated to cleaner tent villages outside Port-au-Prince to prevent disease in the current makeshift camps.
The Pan American Health Organization, the regional branch of the World Health Organization, said about 280 "spontaneous settlements" are located around the city, which could spread diseases like typhoid, according to The Wall Street Journal.» Read More ...
January 20, 2010 at 5:45 PM EST
The earthquake that devastated Haiti last week has left thousands of children without parents in a country where there were already estimated to be hundreds of thousands of orphans before the quake.
Orphanages that were already full to capacity before the quake are struggling to accommodate the siege of new children being brought to their doors and in many cases have been forced to turn them away.
Like other outposts trying to provide relief in Port-au-Prince, orphanages are in desperate need of basic supplies like food and water. Frustrations are mounting as needed medicines have failed to arrive, NPR's Jason Beaubien told the Rundown Wednesday afternoon from the Haitian capital.» Read More ...
January 20, 2010 at 11:15 AM EST
As relief efforts continue to build in earthquake-ravaged Haiti, a 6.1-magnitude aftershock hit the country Wednesday morning, knocking debris from buildings and sending people scrambling for open ground.
The aftershock was the largest of more than 40 to rattle Haiti since a 7.0-magnitude quake struck near the capital Port-au-Prince on Jan. 12.» Read More ...
January 19, 2010 at 5:33 PM EST
Freelance photographer Don Mirra, who often works with humanitarian organizations, has traveled to Haiti several times, most recently in 2007. His photographs depict the everyday life and struggles in Haiti and the Port-au-Prince area. In this photo essay, Mirra describes his impressions of the troubled country before the recent earthquake struck.
January 19, 2010 at 4:10 PM EST
U.S. Black Hawk helicopters touched down on the grounds of Haiti's wrecked presidential palace Tuesday to deploy troops and supplies as the international aid efforts continue to gain momentum.
Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division, tasked with helping speed up a logjammed relief effort, moved to secure Port-au-Prince's nearby general hospital. Their deployment brought crowds of survivors to the palace's iron gates begging for food, Reuters reported.» Read More ...
January 19, 2010 at 8:57 AM EST
Updated 1:20pm ET
Aid to Haiti continues to be slow-moving one week after its capital, Port-au-Prince, was heavily damaged by a 7.0 earthquake. The Washington Post is reporting that security has become the primary concern there, and has limited the ability of relief organizations, including the United Nations, to distribute food and medicine.
Major delays at the area's only airport in Port-au-Prince are further hampering relief efforts. Although the U.S. military says it can now get 100 flights a day through the airport -- up from 60 last week -- troops began parachuting supplies to areas outside the city on Monday rather than further clogging the airport, according to the Associated Press.
In the city, scores of quake survivors fought for passage on buses heading out of the disaster zone and into the countryside. Ticket prices have already doubled, reported the Washington Post.
Those who cannot leave continue to roam the ruined streets in search of food and water. Most in need are children orphaned by the disaster, said a representative from UNICEF, which is pushing to open a facility for children separated from their families.» Read More ...
January 18, 2010 at 5:19 PM EST
For an update on earthquake relief distribution and the security situation in Haiti, we checked back this afternoon with Bob Poff, an emergency relief coordinator with the Salvation Army in Port-au-Prince.
"There's definitely a sense of anxiousness as there's unrest until the food and water supplies begin to flow directly to the people," Poff told us via Skype.
Poff described a tense situation at the Port-au-Prince airport and said some quake victims are accosting vehicles in their increasingly desperate search for basic supplies.» Read More ...
January 18, 2010 at 3:25 PM EST
The flow of aid workers, troops and medical personnel into Haiti increased Monday, as thousands of quake victims continue to clamor for relief amid the devastation of last week's temblor.
Just as extra relief was arriving in Haiti, some refugees sought to flee the desperate scene in the capital of Port-au-Prince on Monday in search of more stability in the countryside.
Some Haitians boarded buses lugging overstuffed suitcases, according to a report in the New York Times, while "others carried little more than the clothes they were wearing."
Prices for bus tickets have doubled, reports the Washington Post, but even those who can afford to pay are struggling to get out of town due to a fuel shortage. Gas stations have fuel, but owners refuse to open out of security fears, according to the Post.» Read More ...
January 18, 2010 at 12:49 PM EST
Charitable and relief organizations have been inundated with donations since last week's devastating earthquake struck Haiti, and a report by the Chronicle of Philanthropy on Saturday suggests that the money raised thus far vastly exceeds what was raised immediately after other international catastrophes, such as the 2004 tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. According to the report:
So far, donors have contributed more than $150-million to major U.S. relief groups, a Chronicle tally finds. By comparison, such charities had raised a quarter of that amount -- $30 million -- in the three days after the 2004 Asian tsunamis, and $108 million in the four days following Hurricane Katrina.
Many U.S. organizations have received millions of dollars via text message, the first time the medium has been used so widely in the United States for philanthropic purposes after a disaster. More than a million Americans have given $10 by texting "Haiti" to 90999, raising more than $10 million for the American Red Cross in texts alone.
"It's the first time we've ever done anything like this, and the response has been really great," Gloria Hwang, a Red Cross spokesperson, told PRI's The World.» Read More ...
January 18, 2010 at 10:15 AM EST
Six days after the massive earthquake in Haiti, a chaotic aid situation is continuing to plague quake victims in their search for basic needs. On Monday, thousands of troops, doctors and aid workers arrived to distribute much-needed relief for the hundreds of thousands of victims struggling to find food and water.
The Washington Post reported that as desperation mounts, fears spread that Haitians will turn to violence as people compete for much-needed supplies.
The AP has quoted the Pan American Health Organization as estimating that as many as 50,000 to 100,000 died in Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude quake.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said over the weekend that up to 10,000 U.S. forces will deploy to Haiti by Monday. Only a fraction of them will be on the ground with the bulk remaining on ships, the Post reported.» Read More ...
January 17, 2010 at 6:03 PM EST
President Barack Obama Sunday issued an executive order mobilizing selected military reserves, including medical staff to work from hospital ships and Coast Guard personnel, to bolster aid efforts in Haiti.
He wrote it is "necessary to augment the active Armed Forces of the United States for the effective conduct of operational missions, including those involving humanitarian assistance, related to relief efforts in Haiti."
The military presence on the ground has been growing, and aid agencies are beginning to distribute water and provisions to survivors. But bottlenecks at the Port-au-Prince airport and coordination between the many international groups with presence on the ground has meant sporadic distribution.» Read More ...
January 17, 2010 at 11:13 AM EST
Hundreds of thousands of Haitians were still waiting desperately for aid Sunday, while rescue workers continued to pull people from collapsed buildings five days after an earthquake ravaged Port-au-Prince. World leaders vowed to help the impoverished nation rebuild.
Three people were saved from the debris of a five-story supermarket early Sunday, Reuters reported. U.S. and Turkish teams freed a 7-year-old Haitian girl, a Haitian man and an American woman.
The rescuers had nearly given up hope of finding anyone alive until a supermarket cashier called someone in Miami to say she was still inside.» Read More ...
January 16, 2010 at 3:35 PM EST
President Barack Obama joined predecessors George W. Bush and Bill Clinton at the White House Saturday to announce a fundraising appeal to benefit Haiti in "one of the largest relief efforts in our history," Mr. Obama said.» Read More ...
January 16, 2010 at 9:21 AM EST
As supplies continued to stack up at Haiti's airport Saturday, aid workers and officials pushed to get the much-needed provisions to the masses of earthquake survivors in and around the capital Port-au-Prince.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is traveling to the country Saturday, said Friday it was a "race against time" to help Haitians as their frustration built while awaiting food, water and other supplies. Clinton planned to meet with Haitian President Rene Preval, military officials and international groups on how best to help, reported the Associated Press.» Read More ...
January 15, 2010 at 8:37 PM EST
Friday's NewsHour ended with a look at the sights and sounds of the Haiti earthquake disaster. Watch that segment below or browse NewsHour coverage of Haiti this week, both on-air and online, here.
January 15, 2010 at 6:43 PM EST
Haiti's earthquake was "a catastrophe of monumental proportions," said Nick Birnback, spokesman for the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations. The Caribbean nation was still mending from a series of major storms in 2008 and deep-seated political problems when the quake struck.
Many countries want to provide aid, but the sea port was demolished in the earthquake and the airport in Port-au-Prince is ill-equipped to handle such a high volume of supply aircraft, said Birnback.
"So as tends to happen in these emergency relief situations following a catastrophic event, there's a bottleneck," he said. "The trick is to coordinate the distribution of aid to make sure that it gets to where it needs to go as quickly as possible."
Hear more of his assessment and view photos of the earthquake's aftermath in this audio slide show.
January 15, 2010 at 5:15 PM EST
During a press briefing late Friday afternoon, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took questions on the relief effort in Haiti and announced plans to travel to the beleaguered country on Saturday. She also referenced a segment the NewsHour aired Monday -- just a day before the powerful earthquake hit -- about signs of hope in Haiti.
Here's what Secretary Clinton had to say:
And it was so ironic that Monday night on PBS there was a long story about how Haiti was on the way back. It was a story on the Jim Lehrer show. I don't know if that's still its name, but that's what I call it.
And it was such a hopeful story. And it had interviews with elected officials, business leaders. And people who watched that were just so revved up. And one of the things it showed was this really successful business conference that my husband led a few months ago, 500 businesses from all over the world, you know, signing contracts, opening factories. The next day, you know, this happens. So, look, it's not easy. We know there is a long way to go. But I think if we're smart about how we choose to interact with them and if we have the right set of expectations, I think this can be done.
Watch special correspondent Kira Kay's dispatch:
January 15, 2010 at 4:16 PM EST
We caught up again Friday with freelance journalist Ansel Herz, a radio reporter who has been living in Haiti for the last four months. He addressed various reports of violence increasing in the streets of Haiti.
"I've seen no weapons on the streets, period. I've seen no guns, no knives being wielded by ordinary Haitians," Herz told us, "I've not seen any kind of violence or unrest."
Herz said he talked to several aid workers and other Haitians traveling through Port-au-Prince and that they also had not seen violence or looting.
Watch our full conversation:» Read More ...
January 15, 2010 at 9:55 AM EST
BROOKLYN, N.Y.--The Haitians and Haitian-Americans of New York can see the newsstand photos of unimaginable suffering. They watch hour after hour of the television coverage that is now flowing freely from Port au Prince.
For most of us, that coverage tells everything we need to know... the who, what, where, when, why. For the Haitians of Brooklyn, that's not nearly enough.
The rumbling from underground took down power lines, transmission lines, and the basic underpinning of power and communications. Those tremors struck at the heart of the worldwide communications tool of the poor: the cell phone.
Here and there you can find people in Flatbush who have gotten through during a random few minutes of service, checking on who is hurt and who is not, who is accounted for and who is still missing. When that phone call ends, an anxious relative in Brooklyn often does not know when their endless speed-dialing will get them through again.» Read More ...
January 15, 2010 at 8:57 AM EST
Despair has begun to give way to anger in Haiti, as countless victims of Tuesday's devastating earthquake awoke Friday still waiting on humanitarian aid that continues to be slowed by a broad array of complications.
Even as the first U.S. Navy ship, the USS Higgins, arrived Thursday, as well as transport planes from China and Belgium, frustration built throughout the island nation. Relatively minor injuries are proving fatal, and the threat of disease outbreaks is escalating.
"Nobody, nobody has come," quake survivor Serge Jean told the Wall Street Journal. "We see a lot of people dying," he said. "A lot of kids dying."» Read More ...
January 14, 2010 at 5:46 PM EST
In all the public statements we've heard about the Haitian tragedy -- from President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or USAID chief Rajiv Shah -- no one had mentioned a key concern underlying the aggressive U.S. response.
But today, the dog barked. At a mid-afternoon briefing by Southcom commander Gen. Douglas Fraser, a reporter asked what the U.S. would do if "thousands of Haitians take to the boats" out of desperation.
"Security, and getting those relief efforts in there, are key to making sure Haitian citizens understand that we are really focused on mitigating their tragedy," Fraser said. "That's where our focus is ... and that's the best way to reduce the aspect of people wanting to leave the island."
Administration officials say that from the outset, in addition to the humanitarian impulse, the Obama team has been driven by a determination to head off a messy mass migration of Haitian refugees toward the U.S.» Read More ...
January 14, 2010 at 5:07 PM EST
She described American doctors' saying their patients there were dying of relatively minor injuries that would not have been life-threatening with modern medical treatment in the U.S.
Kahn said she had seen a great deal of air traffic flying around the capital, but she only saw one search and rescue team, one U.N. patrol and some police who said they need assistance:
I saw one lone police patrol. I tried to ask them what they were doing for the people. They said, "Nothing. We have nothing to give them. We need help." So the authorities here are overwhelmed by the destruction here ... just totally overwhelmed.
Hear our full conversation:
January 14, 2010 at 4:55 PM EST
We spoke this afternoon with Bob Poff, the Salvation Army's divisional director of disaster services in Haiti, via Skype. Poff's apartment was destroyed and he and his wife lost most of their belongings. Quake victims have been pouring into their compound, looking for help, but they don't have much to offer:
» Read More ...
It's gotten a little frustrating. We're out of water. We're almost out of food. We don't have any medical supplies. The most critical issues have been water, medical attention, food and shelter in that order. We're turning people away who have been seeking medical help.
People are sleeping on the ground at night. During the day, they've been sitting out in the sun. We're desperate for some shelter arrangements. We know there's help on the way and we're grateful for that. But we're also anxious that for some people it might be too late for that help.
January 14, 2010 at 4:24 PM EST
We received an e-mail Wednesday from Ian Rawson, managing director of Hopital Albert Schweitzer Haiti -- a 100-bed referral hospital in central Haiti's Artibonite Valley three hours north of Port-au-Prince -- about what he was witnessing:
We were not affected by the quake - only small tremors. However, since last night we have been inundated by patients, mostly from PauP and mostly with leg and arm, as well as crushing, injuries.
At 20:30, we are still receiving patients who come in the back of tap taps, open-back pickup trucks which serve as taxis throughout Haiti. Every bed, gurney and bench is occupied, and we continue to do lab tests, X-rays and surgeries. Our all-Haitian medical and nursing staff have been excellent, serving without a break for 20 hours
Hari Sreenivasan spoke with him today via Skype:
Rawson also sent along some images from the hospital since the quake:» Read More ...
January 14, 2010 at 3:28 PM EST
Images of this week's massive earthquake in Haiti are now flowing out of the country as aid workers and journalists flow in. What we have seen so far confirms the obvious: devastation is massive and widespread. Buildings collapsed. Homes destroyed. A country once inching back from the abyss has been thrown violently back.
Additionally, Google has launched a dynamic spreadsheet, called the "Haiti Situation Tracking Form" that allows people to post messages looking for loved ones and other updates.» Read More ...
January 14, 2010 at 2:28 PM EST
As Haiti continues to reel from Tuesday's devastating earthquake, Americans are donating to the relief effort in droves, and for the first time ever, tens of thousands are doing so via text message.
Any mobile phone user can donate $10 to the Red Cross by simply texting the word "Haiti" to the number 90999. As of noon Thursday, the Red Cross had collected more than $4 million worth of donations for the relief effort through text messages alone.» Read More ...
January 14, 2010 at 1:49 PM EST
Treating the injured is still the first priority in Port au Prince, but experts are raising the alarm about the urgent need to address other health issues before it's too late.
Dr. Tammam Aloudat, of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' Haiti task force, told the NewsHour outbreaks of disease could quickly exacerbate problems for already overwhelmed emergency health facilities in the coming days and weeks.
"If we allow [disease outbreaks] to happen on a large scale it will be very hard to control," he said.» Read More ...
January 14, 2010 at 11:20 AM EST
President Obama spoke in the diplomatic room of the White House for the second time in as many days Thursday to address the U.S. government's ongoing response to the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti this week.
He announced that U.S. rescue teams were already at work on the ground, and that the U.S. military had secured the Port-au-Prince airport so that supplies and equipment could flow into the country.
The U.S. government is initially spending $100 million on the relief effort, Mr. Obama said, which he called the largest in recent American history.
The U.S. military is also sending several ships and more than 2,000 Marines about an amphibious Navy ship. Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson is also on its way, as well as the Navy Hospital ship, the USS Comfort.
President Obama stressed that with impassable roads, a damaged port and limited communications, it will take time for rescuers to do their work.
"It will take hours and in many cases days to get all our people and resources on the ground," he said.
President Obama also addressed directly the Haitian people: "After suffering so much for so long, to face this new horror must cause some to look up and ask, 'have we somehow been forsaken?'" he said. "To the people of Haiti, we say clearly, and with conviction, you will not be forsaken; you will not be forgotten. In this, your hour of greatest need, America stands with you. The world stands with you."
Read the transcript after the jump:» Read More ...
January 14, 2010 at 9:20 AM EST
Day two of rescue and relief efforts kicked off in Haiti Thursday morning, as governments and international aid organizations raced to deliver food, medicine and other critical supplies in the wake of Tuesday's devastating earthquake.
An Air China plane carrying a Chinese search-and-rescue team, medical workers and tons of food and medical supplies landed at Port-au-Prince airport just before dawn Thursday, according to an Associated Press report. Three French planes with aid and a mobile hospital landed in Haiti as well, while a British relief team touched down in neighboring Dominican Republic.» Read More ...
January 13, 2010 at 7:48 PM EST
After speaking with us earlier today by phone, we were able to establish a Skype video connection with journalist Ansel Herz who has been covering the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti's capital of Port-au-Prince.
"A lot of schools collapsed so people are searching for children that may be still alive beneath the rubble, but in terms of emergency relief from official agencies I've really seen nothing," Herz told us.
Watch our discussion:
January 13, 2010 at 6:16 PM EST
Haiti expert Robert Maguire of Trinity Washington University, who is also chairman of the U.S. Institute of Peace's Haiti Working Group, stopped by the Rundown this afternoon to discusses how the nation had been trying to recover from four hurricanes and political instability when the quake struck on Tuesday.
Maguire said Haiti faces a massive humanitarian crisis simply on the issue of people who won't have adequate shelter:
January 13, 2010 at 2:58 PM EST
Ansel Herz, a Texas native and freelance journalist, spoke to us this afternoon from outside a U.N. peacekeepers' base in the capital of Port-au-Prince, where he has been living for four months.
He described scenes of carnage and desperate attempts to rescue trapped people, saying that "Haitians are banding together" to help one another despite the lack of communication and assistance from the government in the immediate aftermath of the disaster:
January 13, 2010 at 2:55 PM EST
This raw footage from APTN shows the damage at the United Nation's office in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after Tuesday's devastating earthquake.
Stay tuned for ongoing coverage of the situation in Haiti online and on tonight's NewsHour broadcast.
January 13, 2010 at 2:13 PM EST
Pledges for financial aid and rescue workers for Haiti are pouring in from around the globe, as aid organizations on the ground start to assess the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis left in the wake of Tuesday's devastating quake.
-The U.S. Agency for International Development is sending a Disaster Assistance Response Team to Haiti on Wednesday. Accompanying that effort are the Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue Team and the Los Angeles County Search and Rescue Team. The effort includes 72 personnel, six search and rescue canines and up to 48 tons of rescue equipment.» Read More ...
January 13, 2010 at 1:41 PM EST
Father Gerry Creedon, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Arlington, Va., has been visiting Haiti for 19 years and left Port-au-Prince Tuesday morning -- just hours before the massive quake struck there.
Creedon arrived in Haiti on Jan. 5, spent time in the capital then traveled to visit a sister parish and the Dominican Republic border. He said he saw signs of progress in Haiti -- from political stability to less traffic congestion.
Creedon spoke with us this morning from the Dominican Republic:
We last spoke with Father Creedon after the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy.
January 13, 2010 at 11:59 AM EST
The top coordinator for the U.S. response to the massive earthquake in Haiti said the government's first priority is to direct resources toward finding and rescuing people trapped by the earthquake.
The U.S. Agency for International Development's Administrator Rajiv Shah said at a news conference Wednesday that President Barack Obama's first priority for the first 72 hours after the earthquake is to find people who need to be rescued. He said two 72-person urban search and rescue teams are on their way to Port-au-Prince to help people trapped by earthquake rubble, with a third team preparing to depart.» Read More ...
January 13, 2010 at 11:05 AM EST
President Barack Obama pledged this morning that the United States would offer a rapid response to help Haiti dig out from the "especially cruel and incomprehensible" 7.0 earthquake that shook the Caribbean nation on Tuesday.
"I have directed my administration to respond with swift and coordinated effort to save lives," President Obama said. "The people of Haiti will get full support of the United States."
Watch the president's statement here:» Read More ...
January 13, 2010 at 10:18 AM EST
For readers looking to contribute to the relief effort in Haiti, here are a few of the organizations collecting donations. NPR has also compiled a list, which you can find here:» Read More ...
January 13, 2010 at 8:40 AM EST
Haiti is bracing for massive casualties Wednesday morning as international aid groups scramble to piece together a response to the devastating magnitude-7.0 earthquake that struck the island nation late Tuesday afternoon.
The quake, the worst to hit Haiti in more than 200 years, has leveled countless homes and buildings across the island, including the national palace, the headquarters of the United Nations mission and a major hospital in the capital Port-au-Prince. The Red Cross estimates as many as 3 million people have been affected by the disaster, but warned it would take 24 to 48 hours before a clear picture of the destruction emerges.
"Clearly, there's going to be serious loss of life in this," Philip J. Crowley, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, told reporters.» Read More ...
January 13, 2010 at 8:10 AM EST
Early Wednesday morning, the U.S. government planned to take an aerial assessment of the damage in Haiti's earthquake zone near the capital Port-au-Prince and send search and rescue teams, along with food, water and temporary shelters.
Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley said in a telephone interview Tuesday night that the U.S. Southern Command will fly reconnaissance planes over Haiti at first light, to get comprehensive sense of the damage. Central Haiti appears unscathed, he said, but the United States can't be sure of the whole picture until they get a view from the air.» Read More ...
January 13, 2010 at 12:46 AM EST
The massive earthquake that struck Haiti Tuesday afternoon devastated the capital Port-au-Prince, crumbling buildings and leaving roads nearly impassable due to debris and people flooding the streets.
"The damage is enormous," Gabriel Verret, an economic adviser to Haitian President Rene Garcia Preval, told The Rundown Tuesday night.
Ours was the first call Verret had received since the quake. He said phones have been down and most of the local news stations have been knocked off the air.
"It was terrifying. I don't know how long it lasted. I will have to wait for the official reports, but it seemed like an eternity," said Verret, who lives in Port-au-Prince. "I went out into the streets to drive around where I could, but it was difficult. I saw I don't know how many people trying to carry people to the hospital, the ones that were still open. There is significant damage to hospitals with already limited resources being put to the test."» Read More ...
January 12, 2010 at 6:04 PM EST
A major earthquake struck the country of Haiti on Tuesday, registering a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 and reportedly centered 14 miles west of the capital of Port-au-Prince, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Initial reports indicate a hospital collapsed and other buildings have suffered damage. Dale Grant, a Colorado-based seismologist with the USGS, told The Rundown this afternoon there have been at least two 5.9 magnitude aftershocks. Grant said the earthquake was shallow and we can expect a lot of damage:
"Everybody is just totally, totally freaked out and shaken," Henry Bahn, a visiting official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture told the Associated Press. "The sky is just gray with dust."
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning for parts of the Caribbean, including the Dominican Republic, Cuba and the Bahamas.
On last night's NewsHour, Kira Kay reported on how Haiti is trying to overcome years of political turmoil and severe poverty.
Update 6:36 p.m. | The White House issued a statement from President Obama on the earthquake.
"My thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected by this earthquake. We are closely monitoring the situation and we stand ready to assist the people of Haiti," Mr. Obama said.
Update 7:26 p.m. | Former President Bill Clinton, the U.N. special envoy for Haiti, issued a statement as well:
"My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti. My U.N. office and the rest of the U.N. system are monitoring the situation, and we are committed to do whatever we can to assist the people of Haiti in their relief, rebuilding and recovery efforts."
Update 7:56 p.m. | Alain Denize with global aid consulting group Management Systems International describes the earthquake's destruction. He lives in Thomassin, about 10 minutes from Port-au-Prince, and spoke to Simon Marks by telephone:
"There's a lot of screaming outside, and I hear sirens from down the hill."
Hear excerpts of the interview here:
Resource: U.S. Geological Survey provides maps and more details about the earthquake.
Update 10:23 p.m. | Haiti native and musician Wyclef Jean released this statement:
"I cannot stress enough what a human disaster this is, and idle hands will only make this tragedy worse. The over 2 million people in Port-au-Prince tonight face catastrophe alone. We must act now.
"President Obama has already said that the U.S. stands 'ready to assist' the Haitian people. The U.S. military is the only group trained and prepared to offer that assistance immediately. They must do so as soon as possible. The international community must also rise to the occasion and help the Haitian people in every way possible.
"Many people have already reached out to see what they can do right now. We are asking those interested to please do one of two things: Either you can use your cell phone to text "Yele" to 501501, which will automatically donate $5 to the Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund (it will be charged to your cell phone bill), or you can visit www.Yele.org and click on DONATE."
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