On the anniversary of the 7.0 magnitude Haiti earthquake that killed 230,000 people, The Catholic Register has compiled a special report on reconstruction efforts in the impoverished nation.
At 4:53 p.m. on Jan. 12, 2010, Haiti was devastated. The quake’s epicentre was 16 km west of the capital of Port-au-Prince, home to 3.5-million people. Large sections of the city were flattened and virtually every building damaged. Hospitals, schools and government buildings collapsed on their inhabitants. The city’s cathedral crumbled, killing Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot. An estimated 1.5-million people were made homeless.
The international community sent emergency supplies, money and manpower, and pledged $5.3 billion for long-term reconstruction. Canadian Catholics contributed more than $20 million to Haitian relief.
To mark the first anniversary of the quake, The Register dispatched Associate Editor Michael Swan to Haiti to document the reconstruction effort. He saw a nation still clearing rubble from streets, still coping with tent cities, still flinching from crime, still living day to day. The rebuilding has begun but it is sporadic and not always well co-ordinated.
But The Register’s veteran reporter also witnessed hope and resilience and even some joy.
“Haitians are the world champions of the brave face,” he writes. “They make British stiff upper lips look wobbly as Jello.”
One year on, we should pause to remember Haiti. Its needs remain great. In the articles listed below, Swan tells Haiti’s story in words and photos.