Haiti was hit by an earthquake measuring between 7.0 and 7.3 on the Richter scale and two aftershocks of magnitude 5.3 and 5.9 on the Richter scale on January 12, with dust from collapsed buildings filling the air for hours afterward. The Presidential Palace and a major hospital have collapsed, together with innumerable other buildings in Port-au-Prince, people’s homes are reported sliding down mountainsides, thousands are believed dead and tens of thousands homeless. Haiti, already the poorest nation in the hemisphere, is devastated.
Where to find news:
• Haitain writer, human rights attorney and activist Ezili Danto reports on the earthquake in her blog, with frequent updates. I think her reporting is reliable.
• Democracy Now interviewed journalist Kim Ives and author Edwidge Danticat on the earthquake and its context.
• Daniel Morel has an incredible Twitter photo feed from Haiti at his Twitter account, photomorel
• Fairly continuous coverage comes from a variety of sources (NOT filtered or verified) from www.twitter.com/haitifeed and HaitiFeed.com
Where to send aid:
From the San Francisco Chronicle, these suggestions for relief donations:
American Red Cross (Reportedly has contributed $200,000 to Haiti relief.)
AmeriCares Help For Haiti. Goes to their International Disaster Relief Fund.
Doctors without Borders – not a Haiti Specific page as of this writing.
HaitiArise – HaitiArise has provided education and relief for the past six years. It’s a registered Canadian charity and reports that 100 percent of donated funds go directly to Haiti.
Haiti Emergency Relief Fund – by Vanguard Public Foundation in San Francisco. Established for Haiti before the Earthquake.
Mercy Corps – Mercy Corps’ website is devoted to the Haiti Earthquake Disaster; they’re deploying a team bound for Haiti now.
Partners In Heath – You can use the drop-down menu to specify donations to Haiti.
Yele Haiti – Wyclef Jean’s Haiti initiative to assist his native Haiti.
UNICEF – UNICEF has set up a special page for donations for the children of Haiti. In an email, UNICEF’s Alissa Pinck reports: “UNICEF’s country office in Haiti and the regional office located in Panama is on the ground and have already deployed emergency teams to assess the situation and determine what the additional emergency needs are for the people of Haiti.”