Patterico's Pontifications


Chaos in Haiti Following Earthquake

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 6:38 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The reports following yesterday’s earthquake in Haiti show a nation in chaos with an unknown number of dead:

“Dazed survivors wandered past dead bodies in rubble-strewn streets Wednesday, crying for loved ones, and rescuers desperately searched collapsed buildings as fear rose that the death toll from Haiti’s devastating earthquake could reach into the tens of thousands.”

Even Haiti’s President has been left homeless but his immediate concern is that more people will be left hurt, homeless, or sick:

“Speaking from the streets of Port-au-Prince, a visibly shaken Haitian President René Préval told reporters Wednesday afternoon “it’s too early” to guess at the number of earthquake casualties in his country.
Asked what he now considered the biggest risk to his country, Préval said: “that the buildings will continue to collapse . . . and for an epidemic.”

While an unknown number of people remain trapped in the rubble, there are growing fears regarding lawlessness and street violence:

“As darkness fell Wednesday, Mario Anderson, Haitian national chief of police, grew concerned. He said many officers had been injured and maintaining security in the chaos may become a challenge: “We have many prisoners who are on the streets – it’s about 1,000; some have been in prison a long time.”

The number of homeless wandering the streets is growing, too, he said. “The situation is bad,” he told CNN.”

The International Red Cross estimates at least a third of Haiti’s nine million people will need aid.


PS – America responds.

16 Responses to “Chaos in Haiti Following Earthquake”

  1. Events like these should remind us what a great thing we have going in the USA. With a few exceptions, we are immune to weather and “acts of God.” We go to the bank, and there is no guard with an Uzi out front. People mostly obey the traffic laws.

    We are extremely fortunate to be living in the USA. And thankfully, we can help the people of Haiti in their time of need.

    carlitos (057200)

  2. I heard a few radio shows giving me advice on where to donate. I already have a kid in the Dominican, via Children’s Aid. Any recommendations on where is most efficient in terms of charitable giving?

    carlitos (057200)

  3. I heard part of a radio program in the car tonight where the participants were talking about that. One said the Christian charities that are already in Haiti could make the best use of the funds because they are already based there, but I don’t know who they are. There’s also the International Red Cross.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  4. carlitos, World Vision has been in Haiti for 30 years (as well as all over the world where people are in need) and my family has supported the organization for just as long. They have one of the highest rates of actual money going directly to the field rather than toward administrative costs, etc. Some organizations are just the opposite in their operations.

    I hope all of the reputable relief organizations are just staggered by the generosity of those who have.

    Dana (f64b7d)

  5. Carlitos, you can try Catholic Relief Services ( It would be especially poignant in light of the death of Archbishop Miot in the quake.

    JVW (48cbba)

  6. Americans always give when a disaster such as this occurs. I know we will do so again.

    I know what I will be doing tomorrow. I only wish I had started today.

    Ag80 (76c798)

  7. “Events like these should remind us what a great thing we have going in the USA.”

    carlitos – Second that sentiment. At least until some asshole like Bush goes and blows up some levees or something. Has Obama fingered him for Haiti yet?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  8. I just did a quick internet survey of charities appealing for help in Haiti.

    No matter beliefs — political, religious or otherwise — there is no end to the ways everyone can help the people of Haiti. Just do a simple search of your charity of choice. I have a horrible feeling this disaster will be a disaster compounded on the people of Hispaniola.

    Ag80 (76c798)

  9. Of course, I’m late to the game, but the Anchoress has a good list. I also would add this.

    Ag80 (76c798)

  10. Ag80,

    I’m not sure why because you did it correctly but your second link isn’t working. Did you mean to link this website?

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  11. My second link didn’t work, so try this:

    Ag80 (76c798)

  12. DRJ:


    Ag80 (76c798)

  13. We do what we can and every little bit helps. Cash seems to be the immediate need for relief organizations. The United States has already assumed it will play the lead role in responding to this tragic disaster in the Western Hemisphere. In addition to the obvious immediate needs, it can also be a sadly real world exercise for modern response teams to deploy and tweak procedures for a huge earthquake with near total infrastructure failure in complex terrain. Training for that day, or night, when ‘the big one’ hits along the West Coast.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  14. I see we all agree. Donate early and often.

    Ag80 (76c798)

  15. Obama said he’d donate the proceeds of his Nobel Peace Prize to charity. Let’s see how much he donates unprodded, and then how much he donates when prodded. My guess is he donated the entire sum to his favorite charity, himself, and Haiti, like his brother in the hut, will not see a dime.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  16. NRO on World Vision and giving.

    Dana (f64b7d)

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2188 secs.