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Disaster in Haiti…

Another day, another natural disaster, and in today’s spotlight: Haiti. For the past few days I have been overwhelmed with topics of interest that I wanted to discuss; humorous things, intriguing things and some everyday, general things. But despite being a self-confessed news-hermit, I couldn’t help but notice the utter plight of the poor people in Haiti right now.

Double-page spreads across every respectable newspaper report the gruelling aftermath of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Port-au-Prince, the country’s capital. And a more serious event could not have occurred to a more unprepared country. Reports in The Times newspaper claim that the country is increasingly unable to accept the vast amount of international aid attempting to reach its survivors and many planes carrying vital supplies and support workers have had to turn back and return home. The country is rapidly running out of food, water and medical supplies which is prompting fears that another wave of deaths will follow.

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Staring at the morbid photographs of bleeding children and the array of limbs jutting out of debris where buildings once stood, I am both humbled by the efforts of the various factions and charities trying to do their part, and pained in knowing that I cannot be a physical part of that. I can only imagine how frightening and futile it must feel for the people there; not knowing what and where their next move should be. It is about far more than just the individual picking up the pieces of his life and getting on with it; the entire country and their world as they know it has come to a complete standstill.

One Tweeter reporting straight from location mentions overhearing this conversation between two people: No, I can’t share this water with you. Since dawn I’ve been searching for water for my family. I just found some, and we are lucky – we will drink.  Basic survival has become the sole objective for these people; something that we will not truly be able to comprehend until we have been in such a situation ourselves. And as if the situation was not wretched enough, there are people looting homes and buildings and the streets are rife with violence and confusion. Hundreds of thousands of children have become orphaned and those amongst the fortunate have escaped the quake uninjured; however the stark reality is that even if the injuries don’t kill them, then depleted water and food supplies will. There are no words to describe the sheer futility of their tragedy, and offering even our sincerest prayers seems somewhat pathetic in this dark hour.

Without question, it is reassuring to know that the various people in power are doing all that they can to provide aid.  President Obama has pledged an initial $100 million to the cause amongst many others, and no doubt this will eventually contribute to a great, coordinated rescue effort.  But for those who have lost loved ones or whose family are still missing or trapped, it is probably little comfort to them to know how much money is being siphoned into the salvage mission.

My intentions when I started writing today was to divert the course of this Blog.  Within just 4, short posts it appears to have begun a rapid descent into negativity.  However I feel guilt-ridden to engage in light-hearted banter and tasteless humour whilst such catastrophe is unfolding on every page of every paper, and every channel on every screen.  So indulge me a little today by reflecting on how fortunate it is, that it is not us in Haiti’s position right now.  No one will ever be more willing to trade places with you, than those poor souls wandering the rubble of Port-au-Prince.   

Something a tad more upbeat tomorrow?  Yes please.    

 

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  1. January 15, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Well done, I’ve been wondering how to tackle this subject on my own blog, but I don’t know where to start! It’s just too horrendous..

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