for this post, i need to update on what i’ve heard via my twitter feeds and the news i’ve been able to absorb today. since i did NOT, in fact, spend the whole day in bed with fever, i wasn’t able to listen to internet radio broadcasts. i’m just now catching up. (incidentally, i went to the doctor and she took blood. i’ll find out if i actually have malaria tomorrow — the doc didn’t rule it out! yikes!)
i’ve heard jacmel has been slammed and is basically in ruins. a refugee camp has been set up the local airport. in gonaives, there has been slight damage, according to what friends on facebook have been able to glean, but it seems that everyone we know (including volunteers from last year and laura and bill, who now have their own nonprofit organization and are hosting about 25 people at the hotel sterling) is safe and sound.
most distressing is news that PAP airport is closed off to both incoming commercial and civilian aid flights. i’m not sure how people who want to go down immediately and help will get into the city — and i would NOT recommend that at this point. two sources quoted in a mainstream story have repeated what i’ve read on twitter posts: where the ?#$% is the ground aid? why is it taking so long? the people trapped under the rubble won’t need help when they’re dead, and time is running out. still, the streets remain quiet in terms of rescue workers. from a lead story in the NYT today:
“Where’s the response?” asked Eduardo A. Fierro, a structural engineer from California who had arrived earlier in the day to inspect quake-damaged buildings. “You can’t do anything about the dead bodies, but inside many of these buildings people may still be alive. And their time is running out.”
word from yoleine, the house mother who owns a home and several buildings in leogane, is bad. the second floor of her house has collapsed (where i slept), and all of her extended family who was living there is now sleeping at the refugee camp, which is somewhere outside of town, i guess. it’s worse than she thought, she said. she mentioned one fatality. my heart goes out to her, especially since it’s taken two whole days for her to find anything out.
i’m planning to help her build a website asking for donations for a temporary emergency shelter for orphans in leogane — she said the orphanage collapsed and the children who had been living there have nowhere to sleep, nothing to eat, noone to turn to. she plans to start accepting volunteers to build, stock, and run the shelter as of early february. if you can help, with the website or would like to volunteer in leogane, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org