Devastation in Haiti

Theresa Lau

On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, shortly before five p.m., an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 shook the island nation of Haiti.

The devastation
The earthquake hit just 10 miles west of Port-au-Prince, the nation’s capital and largest city with a population of 2 million people. The quake knocked down buildings, power lines, and devastated the lives of the some 9 million inhabitants.

Due to a lack of construction standards, Haitian buildings toppled, killing up to 250,000, injuring more than 300,000 and affecting more than 3 million people. This disaster has left the nation in a panic, with people searching for friends and family and fighting over the bare essentials. The most prized possession in Haiti over the last few weeks has been water.

The catastrophe didn’t end there. There were two immediate aftershock quakes measuring at 5.9 and 5.6 on the Richter scale and to date there have been more than 52 after shocks with magnitudes of 4.5 and higher. Repairs to the nation, which was already the poorest in the Western Hemisphere, are reported to cost in the billions.

Student’s ties to Haiti
Though the devastation in Haiti is well known, for one BSM student with family ties to Haiti, everything has hit a little closer to home.
Freshman Rooscol Rozambert is one hundred percent Haitian with his whole family still living in Haiti. Rozambert was born in the U.S. and traveled to Haiti once in 2008. “My parents moved here in 1994 when my mom was pregnant with me. I have 14 family members on her side still there and eight on my dad’s,” said Rozambert.

After the earthquake, it was four days before Rozambert and his parents learned that their entire family was alive and well. “It was a scary couple of days,” said Rozambert, “but I knew everyone was going to be fine.”

Luckily, compared to the tremendous amount of difficulty most of Haiti is going through, Rozambert’s family is surviving and doing what they can to help others. “My family down there isn’t hurting too bad. One of my relatives is a nurse so they are starting a food drive and trying to help everyone who isn’t doing as well.”

Support for Haiti
Since the quake the world has been reaching out to Haiti, sending relief workers, money, and other aid to the impoverished nation. Thus far, the world total of money sent to Haiti is estimated at more than $2 billion which is still only approximately $0.296 per Haitian resident.

Several singers, such as Beyoncé, U2, and Bruce Springsteen, have given their voices for a CD entitled “Hope for Haiti Now.” The album costs $7.99 on iTunes and has already hit number one on the billboard charts since its release on January 22.

BSM has also done its part to contribute relief for Haiti. The Common Basket held on Thursday, February 4, raised over $8,000, all of which will be sent to Haiti.