Haiti earthquake information & reports -- latest earthquake news - earthquake pictures/photos - earthquake video
[Note from the author: I usually do not cover events of that nature. But I want to do my part and use this tribune to bring some order into the chaotic flow of news submerging the internet. I hope you'll find what I've done so far useful. I'll keep updating this article as information from credible sources filters through.]
Port-au-Prince ravaged by a violent earthquake
"Disaster", "chaos", "severe damage", the words used to describe the earthquake of magnitude 7.0, which occurred Tuesday, only a few kilometers off the coast of Haiti, suggest a heavy toll.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the epicenter of the quake was located about 15 km west of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, where nearly 2 million people live.
According to an AFP journalist, very violent shaking lasted over a minute, violent enough to lift vehicles from the street. It was followed by at least five aftershocks, ranging from 5 to 5.9 on the Richter scale, the USGS reports.
In Port-au-Prince, the presidential palace (Palais National) and other public buildings have slumped. President René Préval was unharmed, according to the Haitian ambassador to the United States, Raymond Alcide Joseph, quoted by CNN.
The city has witnessed scenes of panic, while many people were in tears, looking for survivors. The reports of victims trapped under the rubble of offices, hotels and shops are multiplying. Many sources also state bodies in the streets.
In addition, an employee of the UN site said that the headquarters of the stabilization mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and several other buildings had been partially destroyed. Employees are missing.
Hotel Montana, one of the most famous touristic institutions in the country, was also destroyed. A government official visiting U.S. has also said he saw houses sliding into a ravine. A hospital also collapsed in Petionville, a suburb near the capital.
The land telephone lines and mobile lines were cut, as electricity and Internet. The airport in Port-au-Prince has been closed.
A cloud of dust enveloped the city for about twenty minutes, said a contractor employed by the U.S. Agency for International Development at CNN.
Earthquake video: dust enveloped the capital
The president later gave a statement on the chaos in Port-au-Prince.
"Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed," President Rene Preval told The Miami Herald. "There are a lot of schools that have a lot of dead people in them."
The main prison in the capital city also fell, "and there are reports of escaped inmates," said UN humanitarian spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs from Geneva.
Taiwan's Foreign Ministry reported that its embassy in Port-au-Prince had been completely destroyed and the ambassador hospitalized. Spain said its own embassy was badly damaged.
Miscellaneous facts I gathered
- The National Palace collapsed
- The four story Caribbean Market building is completely demolished.
- Saint Josephs Boys home completely collapsed.
- Hospital in Jacmel also seriously damaged and turning people away.
- Local airport in Jacmel has now become a refugee camp
Toll Free Numbers
- The U.S. State Department has set up a telephone number for Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747
- The State Department advises that some callers may receive a recording because of heavy volume of calls.
Officials say the U.S. Embassy in the capital of Port-au-Prince is still in the early stages of contacting American citizens and notes that communications are difficult within Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake.
- Friends and family of Canadians in Haiti can call the Emergency Operations Centre in Ottawa at 1-800-387-3124 for assistance. They can also check the Foreign Affairs website: www.international.gc.ca
Tracking people - Online ressources
- The Red Cross has established a database for people seeking to restore contact with family members. (My brother's wife registered info about her mother thursday evening; the red cross called them back today (friday) to confirm the informations they gave and asked if they could send photographs of her. Considering the huge amount of entries, I found it amazing how fast they answered - but they were lucky enough to be among the first to register, so I don't know if it will be that fast for eveyone.)
- The Haiti Situation Tracking Form which is being hosted by Google Docs allows people to type in whether they are looking for missing people, asking for food and water or wanting to help out. After submitting your details, a spreadsheet shows a number of entries of people looking for loved ones in the region.
Latest news updates
[Note: I stopped updating that section, as most major news channels have now set up their own streams dedicated to the tragedy. But I might add some updates from time to time.]
Friday, january 14th
- 9:54 PM (E.S.T.) - A general lack of resources in makeshift medical clinics means patients are undergoing amputations without anesthesia and staff are cleaning apparatus with soap and water, according to CNN correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.
- 7:51 PM (E.S.T.) -Fire trucks and tanker trucks are sporadically driving around distributing drinkable water in a sign that food and water is slowly becoming available, according to CNN Radio's Steve Kastenbaum. At a U.N. distribution center guarded by Bolivian peacekeeping troops, thousands of plates of cooked rice and chicken were handed out to Haitians waiting in an orderly line.
- 7:25 PM (E.S.T.) - The U.S. Postal Service is holding mail destined for Haiti, a spokeswoman said. Mail addressed to Haiti will still be accepted at post offices, but will be held until alternative transportation arrangements become available.
- 5:02 PM (E.S.T.) - At least 100 bodies were discovered by a CNN crew in one open pit outside Port-au-Prince, along with several other pits half-filled or completely covered over with earth. There is still no confirmed death toll, but the Haitian consul general to the United Nations has estimated the toll could top 100,000.
- 8:15 AM (E.S.T.) - Diesel fuel is selling on the black market in Port-au-Prince for $25 a gallon. It usually sells for $3 a gallon. (source: CNN)
- 7:57 AM (E.S.T.) - Cuba is allowing the United States to use its airspace to fly medical evacuation flights (but no other relief flights) from Haiti, said White House spokesman Tommy Vietor. This agreement will allow the United States to fly earthquake victims directly from Haiti to the United States and reduce the flight time.
Thursday, january 13th
- 9:52 PM (E.S.T.) -The U.S. Air Force, which arrived at Port-au-Prince's airport last night to re-establish air-traffic control there, is trying to make sure planes flying into the airport arrive with enough fuel to fly out. The airport is having refueling difficulties: At one point, 44 planes were parked at the airport, but only two fuel trucks were able to refuel the planes.
- 8:20 PM (E.S.T.) - The FAA is again giving takeoff clearances for U.S. planes bound for Haiti with relief workers and supplies, but it is cautioning that planes have been in holding patterns off Haiti "in excess of three hours," CNN's Mike Ahlers reports. Earlier Thursday, the FAA stopped giving clearances because Port-au-Prince's small airport was packed.
- 6:24 PM (E.S.T.) - Raymond Joseph, the Haitian ambassador to the United States, says that although he's been in contact with some officials in his government since Tuesday's quake, he has not been able to contact a single government minister.
- 1:12 PM (E.S.T.) - The pier used for delivery of cargo to Port-au-Prince by ship was "completely compromised" by Tuesday's earthquake, said CNN's Eric Marrapodi. Three ships filled with medical supplies, food, clothing and water were turned away, he said.
- 12:23 AM (E.S.T.) - FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown says the Haitian government is not accepting incoming flights because ramp space at the Port-au-Prince airport is full and no fuel is available. The FAA isn't giving take-off clearances for Haiti-bound flights until space becomes available.
- 11:45 AM (E.S.T.) "The major thing is that help is starting to arrive, but we have a problem with the roads," Haitian Ambassador to the United States Raymond Joseph told CNN Thursday. "Now we are asking for help from the U.S. government to clear the roads, so the Marines are bringing heavy equipment."
- 11:06 AM (E.S.T.) - The State Department confirmed the first U.S. fatality from the Haiti earthquake, but the victim was not identified because family had not been notified.
- 11:06 AM (E.S.T.) - The U.S. has evacuated 160 Americans in the last 24 hours, and 370 others are registered to leave Thursday, according to the State Department. Most are being flown to the Dominican Republic, but the injured are being taken to the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
- 9:51 AM (E.S.T.) - Some members of the Haitian parliament are still unaccounted for.
- 9:45 AM (E.S.T.) - Contingents of US experts from agencies and the military began touching down in Haiti.
- 8:31 AM (E.S.T.)- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States is providing a communications network to shore up the battered Haitian government infrastructure. "Once we can get communications up so we can tell people where to go, what kind of help they can expect, we'll be able to better manage the crisis,"
- 8:26 AM (E.S.T.) - Paratroopers from the US 82nd Airborne Division are expected to arrive in Haiti before nightfall.
- 8:17 AM (E.S.T.) - By the end of Thursday, a total of five Spanish aid planes are due to land at the Haitian capital, carrying humanitarian aid and rescue and medical personnel. Spain has a logistical base stocked with disaster relief supplies at a hangar near the airport in Panama City, Panama. Spain has offered use of the base to the other 26 European Union member nations for the relief effort in Haiti.
- 6:50 AM (E.S.T.) - Haitian airspace is now open to charitable organizations
- 6:45 AM (E.S.T.) - Several other rescue teams are landing
- 6:42 AM (E.S.T.) - A 60-members rescue team with three sniffer dogs arrived from China
- 4:09 AM (E.S.T.) - Doctors, medicine and more rescuers are scheduled to land in Haiti today as nation after nation pledged to help earthquake-battered Haiti.
Wednesday, january 13th
- 8:53 PM (E.S.T.) - CNN's Sanjay Gupta reports hearing gunfire in the streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, as people stay on the streets, fearing aftershocks.
- 8:37 PM (E.S.T.) - Air space is not open to charitable organizations.
- 7:39 PM (E.S.T.) - The coordinator for U.S. assistance to Haiti says the entire government is marshaling a massive response, with the immediate goal of saving as many lives as possible within the next 72 hours.
- 6:36 PM (E.S.T.) - Airlines are uncertain about when commercial service to disaster-ravaged Haiti will resume.
- 5:59 PM (E.S.T.) -- US State Department clarifies: Americans do not go to airport now. Seek safe shelter.
- 5:45 PM (E.S.T.) - US State Department: About 160 American citizens are at airport waiting for evacuation to Guantanamo. US has heard from less than 100 other Americans. Two C-130s at airport, prepared to evacuate American citizens.
- 5:36 PM (E.S.T.) - US State Department asks journalists to get out the word: US citizens in Haiti who want to be evacuated -- go to airport.
- 2:24 PM (E.S.T.) - U.N. says Haiti's Port-au-Prince's main airport is "fully operational" and open to earthquake relief flights. (source: Radio Metropole)
- 12:57 PM (E.S.T.) - A Canadian caught in the rubble managed to send a text message and the authorities of the Canadian embassy are trying to rescue him. Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lawrence Cannon was unable to give further details.
- 12:15 PM (E.S.T.) - The Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said on CNN that he feared that there might be "well over 100,000 deads".
Epicenter, shaking intensity & potential structure damages
InternetHaiti RT @firesideint: Drove from Cap Haitien - ALL IS GOOD from Montrouis to Cap. No major damage. Noticeable damage starts at Croix De Bouquet
- The head of the UN mission, Hedi Annabi, was killed when the UN building in Port-au-Prince collapsed, according to the French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner.
- The Catholic archbishop of Port-au-Prince, Monsignor Joseph Serge Miot, 63, is among the dead, AP reports, quoting a priest at a French missionary organisation who was told by colleagues in Haiti that Miot's body was found in the wreckage of his office.
- Jimmy O, 35, a singer/songwriter who also was active in Wyclef Jean's charity, is dead. He was crushed in a vehicle in Port-au-Prince during the earthquake.
- The United Nations announced that at least 37 of its personnel have died -- 36 with the U.N. mission (16 of known nationalities: 11 Brazilians, 3 Jordanians, 1 Argentine and 1 Chadian) and one with the World Food Programme. The number of unaccounted for U.N. people stands at 330 out of the 12,000 people working for U.N. organizations in Haiti before the earthquake.
- A Canadian nurse died, who had arrived in the capital just 90 minutes before the earthquake.
- The first US fatality from the Haiti earthquake is confirmed, but the victim was not identified because family had not been notified.
- The US government has identified an other US citizen who was killed in Tuesday's earthquake: Victoria DeLong, a cultural affairs officer from the State Department.
According to Jean-Luc Martinage, spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the estimated 45 000 to 50 000 deaths made by the Haitian Red Cross relies on information gathered by many voluntary humanitarian organization in the capital Port-au-Prince, as well as information provided by the Haitian government. These are only estimates and the final toll of the disaster remains to be established.
Haïti earthquake pictures
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