January 13, 2010
NASSAU, Bahamas - With bodies piled on the roadside and people wailing in greif, Salvation army spokesman Bob Poff started crying as he described the scenes in Haiti as the worst thing he has ever seen.
Bob Poff, director of disaster services and public relations for the Salvation army, said he did not sleep last night as he helped those he could. "There were people running, crying, bleeding, carrying injured people," he said.Fire broke out a few minutes before he gave his report to MSNBC shortly after 11 this morning.
The Red Cross estimates that as many as three million of Haiti's ten million citizens are estimated to have been affected by the quake.
The United Nations has reported missing staff members. Reports are that everyone who was in the building was either trapped or killed. The number of people who were inside has been estimated at 100.
Teams from Doctors Without Borders (DWB) that were already working in the country are treating hundreds of injured people in tents setup to replace damaged hospitals.
Doctors Without Borders has already treated more than 800 injured people, including 50 people with burns. Some were severly burned by cooking gas containers that exploded in collapsed buildings.
DWB said that all hospitals in the capital have either collapsed or have been abandoned.
RUINED: Haiti's presidential palace before and after the quake.
A Country Recovering
Haiti, the poorest nation in the western hemisphere and fourth worldwide, is still recovering from four major storms that killed more than 800 people between August and September of 2008. The storms struck one after another and included hurricanes Gustav, Hanna, and Ike.
Earthquake Location Not Surprising
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake struck at the boundary between the Caribbean and North American plates in an area well known to geologists. The location and centre of the quake suggests that it struck at a fault system where almost half of the total movement between the Caribbean and North American plates happens.
The fault system has not produced a major earthquake in recent decades but is thought to be responsible for large earthquakes in 1860, 1770, 1761, 1751, 1684, 1673, and 1618.
ON THE WAY: Members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department's urban search and rescue team load equipment in the Pacoima area of Los Angeles on Jan. 12. They were preparing to travel to Haiti to help with the rescue effort.
News date : 01/13/2010