Disaster - Haiti Observer Blog

Disaster, Haiti Observer Blog. Read the following articles about Disaster


US donates trucks, boats to Haitian disaster relief

On Thursday, 16 January 2014, the response capabilities of Haiti in the event of major natural disaster was enhanced when the U.S. Ambassador Pamela White accompanied by other officials from U.S Embassy in a handover ceremony in the capital city, donated 12 transport vehicles and 12 watercrafts to Haitian Emergency Response and Civil Protection Agencies. The transport vehicles include six 20-foot, all-terrain cargo trucks, six all-terrain, large cabin pick-up trucks. The watercrafts delivered include twelve 18-foot search and rescue boats.

These trucks and boats were purchased under U.S. Southern Command's Humanitarian Assistance Program to extend Haiti's emergency response capabilities in life-threatening and natural disasters crises. The Haitian representatives from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security accepted the keys of the vehicles on behalf of country's National Police firefighters. The trucks will be used by the Association of Haitian Volunteer Firefighter and these will be added to their existing fleet of disaster relief capabilities in six of the ten Emergency Units built under U.S assistance program for strengthening Haiti's disaster response system.

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Haitian Government sees rebuilding effort going enormously well

January 12 will mark the fourth anniversary of Haiti earthquake where an estimated three million people were affected. The Death toll was estimated between 220,000 and 316,000 and the Haitian government estimated that 250,000 residences and 30,000commercial buildings were either collapsed or severely damaged. On Friday, Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe delivered a progress report as we are approaching the fourth anniversary of the earthquake and estimated that the rebuilding effort has gone from very well to enormously well.

Is this your opinion as well? Do you think the rebuilding effort so far has gone not well at all, to some how well, very well or enormously well?

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Haiti Ranks Number One on Global Climate Risk Index

The Global Climate Risk Index (GCRI) rated Haiti as the number one country most affected by natural disasters in 2012. The Philippines and Pakistan followed at two and three. Haiti's worst devastation in 2012 was caused by Hurricane Sandy, which hit U.S. shores in the northernmost eastern seaboard states.

Research and advocacy organization, Germanwatch, reports emerging nations make up the majority of nations on the index. But more prosperous nations are inching up the index as well. The U.S., the wealthiest nation in the world, ranked 12th for extreme weather events in 2012. For Russia, who ranked ninth on the index, the rating seems not to have affected either their domestic or international climate policy. Russia's laxness in social policymaking extends to human rights also: it is against gay marriage.

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List of Earthquakes in Haiti in recent years

Haiti has experienced a number of earthquakes. Here is a quick list in reverse order:

2010: Epicenter - 25km west of capital Port-au-Prince and magnitude of 7.0 Mw. Killed 316,000 people and injured 300,000.

1946 Dominican Republic: Earthquake of magnitude 8.0 in neighboring country shook Haiti very badly and triggered a tsunami killing 1,600 peole.

1842 Cap-Haitien: Magnitude of 8.1 killing 10,000 people in Cap-Haitien.

1783: A strong quake destroying Santiago church partially.

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Fatal Assistance - Assistance Mortelle by Hatian filmmaker Raoul Peck

Here is the documentary that you have heard so much about. Assistance Mortelle or Fatal Assistance in English was realized by Hatian filmmaker Raoul Peck. It is an exposé that provides a look at the response of the international community following the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. This film that made its World Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in February, has a duration of 1:45 minutes.

Se dokimantè ou te tande anpil pale sou li. "Asistans Mortelle" te reyalize pa Hatian sineast Raoul Peck. Se yon ekspoze ki bay yon gade sou tranbleman tè 12 janvye 2010 an Ayiti.

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Helping Kids Cope with Trauma

There is no doubt that children who face natural disasters directly, go through an emotional trauma but those who are far away are also affected because of the wide media coverage and they too suffer emotionally and psychologically. There are some psychological techniques that can be used by help these youngsters throughout the world to cope with the trauma. Here are some of the methods:

• Music: Taking popular music and creating new positive lyrics for them can help. Positive lyrics can help to give a happier state and help kids by motivating them. Children can sing among themselves and boost up their confidence. However, if kids are less verbal, they can use drumming as energy or frustration releasing medium.
• Technology: Teach kids how to use the power of internet to get information on good health and coping with trauma instead of looking for horrible news.
• Physical activities: Trauma is not just mental. It is physical too in form of tensed muscles and clenched teeth. A nice relaxing bubble bath, exercise, yoga, playing, riding etc. can help to release the tension.
• Art: Children express better through their drawings instead of verbal expression. Drawing the traumatic experience on one side of the page and a happy incident on the other side help them to get over their trauma.
• Friends: Talking to friends can help kids because after a traumatic incident children generally fail to talk to their parents. Sharing with friends always help.
• Role-play: Asking children to take actions that should normally be taken in case of an emergency help to tone their muscle memory. So, their actions become more automatic under a real emergency situation. Role-play with friends is more effective.
• Gifts for survivors: Simple gifts for peer-survivors after a tragic incident helps to boost self-esteem. Even simple teddy bears or paper cranes with messages of hope and love can help kids to get out of trauma relatively quickly.

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Ex-Presidential Advisor, Richard Morse, Blows the Lid on Government of Haiti Corruption

Richard Morse, former Special Envoy for Political Affairs in the Martelly government, quit in January 2012. He gave no explanation then, but has now agreed to talk about it.

He said he resigned due to endemic corruption within Martelly's administration. Morse, Martelly's cousin, related how he attempted to get investigations started on two occasions without success. Working at the National Palace, he saw proof of officials' malfeasance. Many of them were collecting paychecks, although no longer on the government payroll. Morse also discovered public-works laborers pouring water into run-off ditches just before Haiti's storm season. The reason was self-evident to Morse: "If you are creating disasters, it can only be for aid money." Morse reported the criminal acts to government authorities, who blatantly ignored him, much to his distress.

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Rene Preval and the 2010 Earthquake

When the largest earthquake ever recorded in this part of the Caribbean, a 7.0 magnitude behemoth that created more devastation than any other quake in the past 200 years of Haiti's history, struck, President René Préval was, like most Haitians on the January 2010 evening, hoping for a prosperous end to their day. Just before 5pm the earthquake struck and hours later, the death toll was astronomical, the devastation of local aid facilities almost total and the need for leadership paramount.

Criticized for the lack of representation some feel they experienced after the earthquake, Rene Preval made few statement to the press directly following the catastrophe. One such comment, to the Miami Herald, was filled with generalized reports of the devastation with him stating, 'There are a lot of schools that have a lot of dead people in them', and his estimation that thousands had perished.

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Rene Preval and relationship with Fidel Castro of Cuba

Against the wishes of many, Haiti, led by then president René Préval, began dealings with Cuba and Fidel Castro. As part of a trilateral cooperate between the two countries and Venezuela, Castro facilitated an aid package to Haiti that would include oil and energy solutions, medical and disaster support, education, etc.

During Préval's first turn as president, after the September 1998 hurricane Georges had ravaged the country and left a cholera outbreak, 500 Cuban doctors were sent to give aid. Described by Préval as second only to God in their healing abilities, the gift was looked on suspiciously by others claiming the intention was to either steal jobs or spread the 'communist influence'. Following Rene Preval's personal experience of the Cuban health system and a second visit of the doctors in the wake of 2010's cholera outbreak, Préval awarded the Cuban Medical Brigade, and by extension Castro, with the country's highest honor, the National Order of Honor and Merit in the grade of Grand Officer. Hundreds of thousands had been infected; the death toll nearly 5000, but the efforts of the Cuban doctors had saved the lives of over 73,000 Haitians.

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An earthquake reminder for Haiti, Yesterday Evening with 3.5 shake

The population of the city of Thomazeau was very nervous yesterday evening (2/25/13) following an earthquake that took place there around 7:39:04 pm local time. The earthquake measured 3,5 on the open Richter scale and its epicenter was located 6 km northwest of the city of Thomazeau.

Residents in several nearby towns felt the shake and were terrified. This includes people in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince, Delmas, Martissant and Petion-ville. It has not been possible to make an estimate of damage caused by the shock. Many have reported no damage

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