News / Americas

Haitians Near Quake Epicenter Still Tallying Their Losses

Coastal town of Carrefour, 15 km west of capital, has received little assistance from foreign aid groups or the government

A family in the destroyed town of Carrefour, Haiti sits amid the charred rubble of their home, 25 Jan 2010
A family in the destroyed town of Carrefour, Haiti sits amid the charred rubble of their home, 25 Jan 2010
Barry Newhouse

The Haitian town of Carrefour sits atop the epicenter of the earthquake that devastated the region nearly two weeks ago.  Survivors in one neighborhood have only each other to cope with their losses.

The coastal town of tightly packed neighborhoods is about 15 kilometers west of Port au Prince.  Despite its proximity to the capital city and the quake's epicenter, residents have received little assistance from foreign aid groups or the government.

In one neighborhood just off the main thoroughfare, about 5,000 residents have received two large tents.  Trucks bringing free water stopped here temporarily a few days ago but have not returned.

One man helping to dig out corpses still buried beneath the rubble introduces himself.

"I am so glad to see you this morning, because I have not seen anybody coming.  Some people say why are you breaking into this house?  And I say listen, there is a body under the house, I have to take it out.  I cannot just leave it like that," he said.

Ilosielar Josue is a Haitian-American living in Florida whose extended family is from this neighborhood.  After the quake, he spent several days traveling to check on family and friends.  He has been here for a week and offers to give a tour of the devastation.

"You see those houses?  Those houses have maybe 30 people in them.  Most of them died.  This house over there, yeah, most of them died.  I have a cousin there with two kids," Josue said.

Like nearly everyone else here, Josue sleeps outside in the street on a bare mattress when he is not digging through rubble.  International aid groups have said getting more tents is a top priority for the hundreds of thousands of newly homeless.

A man in Carrefour, Haiti, near the quake's epicenter, attempts to dig out whatever possessions he can salvage from his destroyed home, 25 Jan 2010
A man in Carrefour, Haiti, near the quake's epicenter, attempts to dig out whatever possessions he can salvage from his destroyed home, 25 Jan 2010

Some streets are nearly impassable because they are choked with wreckage and makeshift camps.  As he passes several homes crushed by their roofs, Josue asks one neighbor about his situation.

"Two people dead and one in the hospital.  It is terrible.  No help," Josue said.

He says some of the survivors who have relatives living in less affected areas have already left.  But most people here continue to squat beside their ruined homes.  The streets are now filled with tarps, where people sleep when they are not salvaging their belongings from the wreckage.

"Listen, you can not leave your street and go to another street.  If you leave your property some people will come and steal everything you have," Josue said.

As he passes a home where only the door and two exterior walls are still standing, he says the street in front of the house is now a graveyard.

"Two little kids were living right here, but one died and they buried him right here," he said.

Josue points down to an unmarked spot in the unfinished road.  He says this is not how the family wanted to bury their son, but they did not know what else to do.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Video Washington Week: Focus on Cuba, North Korea

President Obama, lawmakers out of town for holidays but many remain transfixed with US-Cuba thaw, Sony Pictures hack
More

Health Minister Named as Haiti's New Interim Prime Minister

Announcement is part of effort to resolve a mounting political crisis over long-delayed elections
More

Kerry: US-Cuba Thaw Will Advance Interests for Both

Secretary of state says 11 million people of Cuba have waited far too long - more than half a century - to 'fulfill their democratic aspirations' and build closer ties with rest of world
More

Cuba's Famed Cigars Get a Foot in Door of US Market

Under new rules to be implemented soon, US will make it easier for some Americans to travel to Cuba and they will be able to return with $100 worth of alcohol, tobacco
More

Tourism, Farm Groups See Bigger Business With Cuba

'We are the closest major food producer that Cuba has,' an American Farm Bureau Federation spokesman notes
More

Castro Lauds US Outreach, Says Cuba to Remain Communist

In speech to lawmakers, Cuba's president says economic reforms will be accelerated, yet changes will be gradual
More