Sunlit Water

January 14, 2010

Haiti

Filed under: Culture,Land,Language,Nature,Politics — by teofilo @ 5:31 pm

The news out of Haiti regarding the effects of the earthquake there is pretty dire and depressing.  I don’t know a whole lot about the political and cultural context, aside from the oft-repeated fact that Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, but this page (via apostropher at Unfogged) is very useful in providing background information.  The devastation reminds me of the Port Royal earthquake of 1692, which effectively destroyed what had been the capital of Jamaica and killed two-thirds of its population.  The epicenter of the Haitian earthquake seems to have been similarly close to Port-au-Prince, and as a result it sounds like the country’s governmental institutions have been crippled to a degree that makes them essentially useless.  Port Royal never recovered, although Jamaica eventually sort of did, and Haiti today is a much poorer country in relative terms than Jamaica was in 1692.  It’s all very sad.

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1 Comment »

  1. I read Mountains Beyond Mountains a couple years ago, which is about an American doctor who works mostly in Haiti treating, curing, and preventing infectious disease. It was a great book and really my only peek into anything intimate about Haiti. I’d recommend it.

    Every time I hear about an EQ, it reminds me to get my EQ kit together. After Katrina, I remember thinking, “Wow. Even in America we don’t get natural disaster response right.” I don’t even want to imagine what the situation looks like in Haiti. What I read two nights ago made me cry a little, and the news on NPR this morning was downright depressing.

    Comment by Meredith — January 15, 2010 @ 11:42 am |Reply


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