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    Haiti Earthquake

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    Steph
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    Haiti Earthquake

    Post by Steph on Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:54 am

    Thousands of Haitians are spending a second night in the open after the country's catastrophic earthquake which may have killed tens of thousands.
    Medical aid agency Medecins sans Frontieres reported a "massive influx" of casualties at its makeshift clinics, many of them with severe injuries.
    The search for survivors under the rubble went on after darkness.
    Substantial foreign aid for the three million people said to be in need is due to begin arriving within hours.

    EYEWITNESS

    Twenty-four hours after the earthquake, and we flew into Port-au-Prince. Just along the tarmac we found some aid trickling in. The airport buildings here have been damaged but not, it seems, the runway.
    Many of those who can, are leaving. Millions, though, are left behind in a country that can barely function, even without a disaster.
    Many of the UN peacekeepers stationed here are among the dead. This country - so often forgotten by the world - now needs its help more than ever.
    The first US aid planes have already landed at the airport serving the capital, Port-au-Prince, and US naval ships are on the way.
    EU states, Russia and China are among those sending rescue and medical teams by plane while pledges of aid have been made by countries around Latin America.
    UN peacekeepers, who played a key role in maintaining public order in Haiti even before the quake, have been deployed to control any outbreaks of unrest as reports come in of looting.
    The BBC's Andy Gallacher in Port-au-Prince says the situation in the capital is increasingly desperate with no sense of a coordinated rescue effort, scant medical supplies and aid only trickling in.
    Haitian President Rene Preval could not give an official estimate of the dead, saying: "I don't know... up to now, I heard 50,000... 30,000."
    He spoke of how he stepped over dead bodies and heard cries of those trapped in the parliament building.
    Sleeping among the dead
    The 7.0-magnitude quake, Haiti's worst in two centuries, struck at 1653 local time (2153 GMT) on Tuesday, just 15km (10 miles) south-west of Port-au-Prince and close to the surface.



    Worst of places for a quake
    Thousands of Haitians gathered in open spaces overnight in the capital on Wednesday, too scared to sleep inside damaged buildings. Many sang hymns to keep up their spirits.
    The BBC's Matthew Price visited the grounds of one hospital and spoke of seeing about 100 bodies - but there were many people bedding down for the night to sleep among the dead.
    Efforts to rescue survivors trapped in rubble have been hampered by the lack of heavy lifting equipment and much of the work is being done by individuals with simple tools or their hands.
    One Chilean UN peacekeeper told Reuters: "We just don't know what to do. You can see how terrible the damage is. We have not been able to get into all the areas."

    The luckier survivors have been treated by UN and MSF medics
    Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and our correspondent says it simply does not have the infrastructure to manage a rescue operation.
    He says that there have also been a number of aftershocks and people are very frightened - a number of Haitians were panicked overnight by a false rumour that a tsunami was approaching the island.
    Patients with "severe traumas, head wounds, crushed limbs" have been streaming into MSF's temporary structures but the agency is only able to offer them basic medical care, spokesman Paul McPhun told reporters in Toronto.
    One of MSF's emergency medical facilities collapsed during the quake while the other two were so badly damaged they became unusable, he said.
    At least 1,000 people have sought help at three temporary MSF sites, including some 50 people who were treated for burns caused by domestic gas containers exploding in collapsing buildings.
    With many of Haiti's communication lines down, Haitians living abroad have been battling to get through to relatives.
    In the main Haitian community in the US, Miami's Little Haiti, people have been meeting to pray and to raise money for relief efforts.
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    World Aid

    Post by Steph on Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:58 am

    International efforts to help Haiti in the wake of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake are under way, as governments around the world and aid agencies mobilise search and rescue teams and aid supplies.
    Although the full scale of the disaster has yet to emerge, it is clear that it will pose a huge challenge.
    Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, is still struggling to recover from devastating hurricanes in 2008.
    It needs all kinds of help, from emergency and medical aid, to food aid, to the longer-term rebuilding of infrastructure.

    UNITED STATES
    US President Barack Obama has pledged to give the people of Haiti the country's "full support" and to mount a "swift, co-ordinated and aggressive" effort there, co-ordinated by the country's international development agency - USAID .
    He said that the country had already mobilised military over-flights to assess the extent of the damage and that civilian disaster assistance teams were already beginning to arrive in the country. Search and rescue teams were expected to arrive over the coming days, he added.
    Pentagon officials said that the US military had ordered an aircraft carrier and three ships, including one which can carry up to 2,000 US Marines, to set sail for Haiti.
    The US Coast Guard said it had "mobilised cutters and aircraft to positions in close proximity to Haiti to render humanitarian assistance as needed".
    Haitian communities across the US, including south Florida where an estimated 275,000 Haitians live, are also organising donations and relief efforts.

    AID AGENCIES
    Several international aid agencies have offices and staff in Haiti, usually working on long-term aid and reconstruction.

    It is already evident that this is an extremely serious situation, the long-term effects of which are going to need substantial support
    Roger Yates
    Plan International


    Haiti: How to help
    As news of the quake emerged, these organisations began to mobilise their emergency response teams.
    Oxfam says it has staff ready, including a public health, water and sanitation team in the capital, Port-au-Prince.
    A spokeswoman said the organisation also had emergency supplies in Panama, which could be brought in.
    The International Red Cross says it is releasing emergency funds to help deal with the disaster. The Red Cross has supplies in Haiti which can help some 3,000 families for three to four days, a spokesman at Red Cross headquarters in Geneva said.
    It is also gearing up to fly more supplies in from Panama.
    The British Red Cross has launched an appeal in the UK and has released £200,000 ($325,000) from its disaster fund to ensure money is immediately available.
    The international humanitarian group, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), said many people had gone for treatment at its facilities in Port-au-Prince but that its buildings had been seriously damaged.
    MSF is planning to send additional staff to Haiti to help workers based there.

    UNITED NATIONS
    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said $10m would be released immediately from the world body's central emergency response fund to assist aid efforts. He said an emergency appeal for additional funds from member states would follow.

    Bill Clinton: ''What we need now is food, water, supplies''

    The UN World Food Programme - which already runs extensive feeding operations in the country - said it would begin distributing high energy biscuits, which require no preparation before being consumed.
    The agency also said it would airlift 86 metric tons of food from its emergency hub in El Salvador, allowing 30,000 people in urgent need of food to be fed for up to seven days.
    The UN stabilisation force in Haiti, Minustah, has said a large number of its personnel are unaccounted for after a building at its headquarters in Port-au-Prince collapsed.
    Minustah has some 9,065 police and troops stationed in Haiti, as well as 488 international civilian staff and local staff. Its forces are drawn from more than 40 countries, including Brazil, China and Pakistan.
    Several Minustah nations have said they are preparing to send aid.

    OTHER INTERNATIONAL RESPONSES
    France, which has historic links with Haiti and some 1,400 nationals living there, is sending two planes with rescuers and humanitarian aid, one from the Caribbean island of Martinique and a second one with aid experts from Marseille.
    French civil safety authorities said a total of 130 rescuers, doctors and nurses as well as trained rescue dogs were due to arrive in Haiti, with 12 tonnes of aid and rescue material.


    The UK government said it was "deeply concerned" by the earthquake and has a team flying out to Haiti. A 71-strong team of British firefighters is preparing to head out to help rescue efforts.
    Spain has pledged $4.3m (3m euros) and says it has 150 tonnes of humanitarian aid ready for delivery. The country has offered the EU the use of its humanitarian base in Panama to ferry in help.
    Germany has released $2.18n (1.5m euros) in aid and has sent an immediate response team.
    The Netherlands has donated $2.9m (2m euros) and Belgium, Sweden and Luxembourg are offering water purification equipment, tents, medical help and search-and-rescue experts.
    Italy has prepared a military transport plane which will be used to carry in a field hospital and emergency medical team.
    The European Union says it has activated all "crisis and aid management mechanisms" and the European Commission has released $4.3m (3m euros) in emergency assistance, the maximum for an emergency procedure.
    The President of the EU, Herman van Rompuy, said "the EU stands ready to offer its assistance in any possible way".
    Israel is sending an army rescue unit, including engineers, doctors and other medical staff.
    China is to donate $1m, according to Xinhua News Agency.
    Venezuela said it would send a military plane with food, medicine and drinking water, as well as a team of 50 rescue workers.
    Cuba, which also felt the quake, has sent 30 doctors.
    Cuban field hospitals in Port-au-Prince were already treating hundreds of injured, according to Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.
    Canada has said it is sending a 20-person reconnaissance team to assess aid needs.
    Mexico, which has long experience of dealing with devastating earthquakes, is sending a team of doctors and search and rescue workers and infrastructure damage experts.


    FINANCIAL AID
    The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) is providing $200,000 (£122,000) in immediate emergency aid which can be used to provide food, potable water, medicines and temporary shelter.
    The World Bank, whose local offices were destroyed in the earthquake, is planning to send a team to assess damage.
    It has announced an extra $100m in emergency aid for Haiti, to help with recovery and reconstruction.
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    Steph
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    Re: Haiti Earthquake

    Post by Steph on Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:17 am

    The UK Government has trebled the amount of money it is giving in aid to Haiti to more than £20 million.

    The increase in funding from an initial 10 million US dollars (£6.2 million) will be announced at Monday's meeting of European Union development ministers in Brussels.

    International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander said: "It is now clear that the international community is dealing with an almost unprecedented level of devastation. To address the needs of the immediate humanitarian response the UK Government will pledge a further 20 million US dollars, on top of the 10 million US dollars initially donated."

    Meanwhile, the European Union's contribution to the Haiti earthquake relief effort was put at £87 million - with as much again available as part of long-term financial funding to rebuild the stricken area.

    The Commission said first priority had been to dispatch "urban search and rescue teams", including military and civil engineering capabilities: "The current focus is to provide emergency health, water and sanitation, medical facilities, shelter, logistics, telecommunications and food."

    The news came after the first Briton confirmed to have died in the earthquake was hailed by his family as a United Nations worker committed" to helping the developing world.

    Frederick Wooldridge, 41, from Kent, was killed on Tuesday. He worked for the UN in Geneva and Liberia before moving to Haiti in 2007. His family said he "loved" his work as a senior political affairs and planning officer on the island.

    Prime Minister Gordon Brown later sent his condolences to Mr Wooldridge's family. Mr Brown's spokesman said: "The Prime Minister's thoughts are with his family and friends at this most difficult of times and with the families and friends of those British nationals whose whereabouts have yet to be confirmed."

    There is still no news of another British UN worker missing in Haiti. Relatives of Ann Barnes, 59, said they fear the worst as she has been unaccounted for since the earthquake hit Haiti on Tuesday.

    Separately, thousands of US Marines are expected off the shore of Port-au-Prince to help relief organisations get supplies to Haitian earthquake survivors. The troop increase and an expected request to the UN for more peacekeepers came a day after sporadic violence and looting in the capital underscored how a rise in water and food deliveries still fell far short of overwhelming demand.
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    Re: Haiti Earthquake

    Post by ColdWater on Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:53 pm

    Very serious earthquake. Our school is doing a raise some money thing. Every student trys and raises some money from doing anything. I raised 16euro from rollerblading 10klm
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    Smooth Criminal
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    Re: Haiti Earthquake

    Post by Smooth Criminal on Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:31 am

    Here's the charity song.... in which simon cowell is behind.... tis very touchin



    Spare a thought.


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    If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with.
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    Steph
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    Re: Haiti Earthquake

    Post by Steph on Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:01 am

    i don't know why but james blunts voice sounds so haunting in this song.... def brings a lump to the throat watching that.
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    Re: Haiti Earthquake

    Post by ColdWater on Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:00 am

    o0. i agree steph. anyways i did take a minute and meditate for them

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    Re: Haiti Earthquake

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