Image by caribb via Flickr
On Tuesday, at 21:53GMT the Caribbean nation of Haiti was hit by its strongest earthquake in more than 200 years, causing what is being described as "a catastrophe of major proportions".
Heavy casualties are feared after numerous buildings were leveled by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake. Rumors have it that, about 100,000 people are feared dead but that number is yet to be ascertain. Major landmarks, including the Presidential Palace, National Assembly and Port au Prince Cathedral have been destroyed.
I find it very disheartening to think that Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, along with its administrative, health, governance, and diplomatic faculties has been rendered incapable in mere seconds. To make matters worse, the majority of the foreigners based in Haiti - relief and aid workers - have also suffered numerous losses with the UN reporting damages to its properties and possible staff deaths in the hundreds.
“#HAITI” has been a trending topic on twitter until I just realized, it’s no more. My tweets: “I can't believe #Haiti is no more trending on Twitter. Wot's w/ all this useless trending topics? KMT. Pple needs help in Haiti. #HelpHaiti” should let you know how concerned I’m about the situation in Haiti and how willing I’m in spreading more info about ways people can help the survivors of the earth-quake. Even though #Haiti isn’t trending on twitter as at this time, Wyclef Jean’s #YELE is trending on twitter.
In search for accurate blog posts to aggregate from Ghana about the Haiti-Quake, I came across a few posts from members of the Ghana Blogging Group and other blogs worth reading.
Ethan Zuckerman, one of the donors who sponsored my trip to Copenhagen for COP15 and also a great contributor of Global Voices Online [an international citizen media organization dedicated to amplifying the voices of bloggers and other producers of citizen media, with a special focus on the developing world] wrote about how reporters are racing to Haiti to report on the disaster, but voices are already making themselves heard from the decimated city. He also mentioned how Georgia Popplewell has been rounding-up tweets from Haiti on the Global Voice Special Haiti-Quake page.
Georgia is a list person I must say. She has started a list on Twitter, aggregating accounts of people who are posting from Haiti. On her post about “List and the Haiti Earthquake” she mentioned how she can’t live without “LISTS” as they are a way of escaping thoughts about death been described by Umberto Eco. She also wrote about she spent the whole day of Jan 13, following the aftermath of the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti.
> Mass graves are being used; the bodies are seen stacked in trucks and around town. Many people will be buried without their families ever knowing where they were when they died.
> Plans are underway to open a clinic to serve our area. We need prayers that the plane is allowed to land with our people and supplies. They are supposed to be able to get in the next 36 hours but we pray that it actually comes to pass. We cannot begin without them.
> Water purification in the form of a safe chlorine product is being made around the clock and will be distributed for people to add to their dirty water source and be able to make it safe to drink.
I have never fully understood the wonder of social networking until now, seriously thank God, for Twitter, Facebook, Skype and all blogging platforms!
Kasja Hallberg-Adu had this to say about social Media and how it’s going to help in the Haiti crisis; “If anyone ever doubted that blogging and tweeting could go beyond navel gazing, I guess today we have evidence of the contrary. Hopefully this access to on the ground information will also make a difference to the Haitian people.
Say a prayer for Haiti please!
Prayers are free, but financially you can help in the following ways:
President Barack Obama and former presidents of the United States; George W Bush and Bill Clinton launched a national drive to raised funds for the survivors of Haiti. Obama has already pledged US$100milion as a relief fund for Haiti.
Yasmeen H. Nsiah [Soap maker from 2009's MakerFaireAfrica held in Accra] have also started a campaign to mobilize donations both in cash and in-kind for survivors of Haiti-quake. She created a group on Facebook; GHANAIAN HELPERS FOR HAITI and posted this info up: “A short code has been set up for the Red Cross in Ghana. Text HAITI to 1990 to donate GHC1.00 to the Red Cross in Ghana or text HAITI to 1960 to give through the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund. You can text multiple times!
You can also send your donations through other NGOs. But in order to ensure you're not being scammed, here are lists of reputable NGOs with operations in Haiti with whom you can donate to:
May the victims of this quake rest in perfect peace…!