News / Americas

Haiti Quake Devastation Prompts Global Response

Multimedia

Audio
Michael Bowman

Untold numbers of Haitians are dead, trapped in rubble or missing after the country's worst earthquake in two centuries. The international community is rushing to provide emergency aid for the impoverished Caribbean nation, where as many as three million people are believed to have been affected by Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude temblor that struck outside the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Haiti's streets have become impromptu morgues, with grief-stricken survivors lining roads with bodies even as trapped survivors continue to scream for help.

Frank Thorp, the husband of an American aid worker in Haiti, described the scene on NBC television's Today program.

"There are dead people," said Frank Thorp. "There are people dying on the streets.  There are injured on the streets.  There are so many people here that need help."

The national palace, Port-au-Prince's main hospital, and the headquarters of the U.N. mission in Haiti are among the thousands of structures that collapsed - inflicting a death toll that could take weeks to compile.  Scores of U.N. personnel are unaccounted for.

Nadeje Pamphile, who lives on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, spoke with VOA by telephone.

"In my house, the walls are cracked," she said. "Thankfully, my immediate family is okay, but my grandmother's house collapsed, and a brother and a nephew are under the rubble.  They are trapped.  We can hear their voices, but we cannot reach them yet."

Nations around the world are sending aid and rescue teams to Haiti.  President Barack Obama pledged the "full support" of the United States to the people of Haiti, and directed his administration to deliver aid as rapidly as possible.  The Pentagon says ships, helicopters, transport planes and thousands of U.S. troops are being readied for an emergency mission to provide relief and security in earthquake-ravaged areas.

Tens of millions of dollars in aid have been promised by the United Nations and a vast array of international groups, along with dozens of nations.

Already, emergency response teams are en route to Haiti from several locations, including Fairfax County, Virginia, just outside Washington.

Fairfax County spokeswoman, Renee Stillwell:

"We have a doctor on the team, paramedics and firefighters that will be helping with rescue efforts when they get there and treat the wounded," said Renee Stillwell.

Special dogs are also part of the team.

"Cadaver dogs and search and rescue dogs," she said. "They are trained very differently, but the whole purpose is to find victims."

And time is of the essence if lives are to be saved, according to Paul Conneally of the International Red Cross.

"The first 48 hours [after a disaster] are extremely important because this is when people who are trapped under the rubble can hopefully be detected and rescued, and emergency attention given to the wounded so that the wounds they have incurred because of the earthquake do not become life threatening," said Paul Conneally.

Haiti's ambassador to the United States, Raymond Joseph, welcomed U.S. pledges of assistance.

"It [the quake] is a major catastrophe for Haiti," said Ambassador Joseph. "We have gone through others before.  I am quite sure the Haitian people, courageous as they are, will come out of it in unity.  In the meantime, I am asking for the international solidarity with Haiti now in our time of distress."

Haiti is the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation, ravaged by frequent hurricanes, centuries of political instability, chronic underdevelopment, and, until recently, one of the world's highest HIV infection rates.  
 

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Miss Colombia Takes Miss Universe Crown

Paulina Vega is the first contestant from Colombia to win since 1958
More

Honduran President Hails Drop in Murder Rate

Juan Orlando Hernandez says deployment of special military police has cut country's murder rate, one of the world's highest, by 23 percent
More

Thousands of Venezuelan Opposition Supporters Protest in Caracas

Angry about inflation and shortages of goods, they want an end to the presidency of Nicolas Maduro
More

Haiti Electoral Council Called 'New Step' Toward Democracy

Impoverished Caribbean nation has not held legislative or municipal elections for three years, is due for presidential election at year's end
More

Argentine Government Thinks Rogue Agents Killed Prosecutor

Alberto Nisman, who was investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, was found fatally shot last Sunday
More

In Shortages-hit Venezuela, Lining Up Becomes a Profession

Job usually involves starting before dawn, enduring long hours, dodging or bribing police, and then selling a coveted spot at front of huge shopping lines
More