Slide Show: Haiti’s Crushing Quake
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.