Haiti Earthquake: link roundup, day two

A day has passed since a 7.0 earthquake—the strongest in 200 years—struck the island nation of Haiti. Aftershocks continue, the numbers of dead and injured people continue to climb. Following, some links to stories, sources for information, and ways to assist.

• Video above: on the Rachel Maddow Show, the Haitian ambassador to the United States responds to Pat Robertson's revolting, racist comments about the disaster (blogged here on BB by Maggie earlier today, and covered also by Ms. Maddow here).

• Follow Richard Morse for live tweets from the ground in Haiti. One read, "If your home is destroyed and your workplace is destroyed and your neighborhood is destroyed... then what?"

• "In a country where traditional landline service is almost non-existent, more than a million Haitians rely on the mobile service Voilà for communications." That service is run by a Bellevue, Washington-based technology company. Mobile communications are a vital link in aid coordination as the disaster continues to unfold.

• This happens every time there is a disaster of this scale: scam artists prey on people struck by the impulse to help with money donations. ABC News, BBB, FBI.

After the jump, video from CBS News which is said to show buildings collapsing during the 7.0 quake, which lasted about 30 seconds and was followed by many aftershocks, some as strong as 5.9.

• Boing Boing reader Ryan points to haitianquake.com and says,

I'm writing on behalf of the small coalition of web developers here in New York and beyond that are working diligently (and swiftly) to create a working and dynamic database to record all information about missing persons in Haiti. Considering the tools to do this right now are scattered across multiple platforms, without a unifying structure, we thought this was the best way to be helpful. We want people to be able to submit information, as well as to search for information on those they are concerned about.
This article by Ferentz Lafargue, a writer of Haitian origin, includes suggestions on aid groups doing good work there, in response to the immediate crisis and beyond. Brian Spears at The Rumpus has another roundup of aid groups. And The Haiti Emergency Relief Fund is another the smaller, independent, grassroots group that comes highly recommended by folks I know who are familiar with development work in Haiti. More on the text-message Red Cross fundraising efforts here.

• A number of American companies have pledged millions in aid money.

• Simon Romero, reporting from Port-au-Prince in the NYT:

"Please save my baby!" Jeudy Francia, a woman in her 20s, shrieked outside the St.-Esprit Hospital in the city. Her child, a girl about 4 years old, writhed in pain in the hospital's chaotic courtyard, near where a handful of corpses lay under white blankets. "There is no one, nothing, no medicines, no explanations for why my daughter is going to die."
• Photographer Daniel Morel is in Haiti. If you can stomach it, you can view his images on Corbisimages.com.

• News coverage: Guardian, NOLA.com, Democracy Now, Miami Herald.


  1. While watching Anderson Cooper 360, tonight it even seems as if the Haitian people are scamming those under similar dire circumstances. One report held that people were screaming, “TSUNAMI”, although the chances are close to zero that one would occur, and people were running for their lives; woken up in the middle of the night, dropping their possessions in a wake of terror only to have those possessions stolen off the streets by others. Tragic. I wonder if it has anything to do with the prisoners having been let go from their collapsing holding cells.

  2. The Amateur Radio Relay League has a bulletin on the situation: http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2010/01/13/11288/?nc=1

    The ARRL has a free system to receive radio messages from disasters and pass them by phone or e-mail to their destination, and at least two radio amateurs are operating from Haiti now.

    A pocket-sized radio


    and a long wire antenna can transmit hundreds of miles on internal batteries using Near Vertical Incidence Skywave antenna designs.

    Morse Code is superb at low power operations, which is why hams still use it.

    Portland, Oregon

  3. I hadn’t realized it was quite that bad. Six figures is a lot of people. It’s like losing a war, overnight.

  4. IPFREELY @ #3: opportunists and villains have always preyed on the victims of disaster, whether prisons have opened their walls or no. From picking over corpses on the battlefield to tricking fleeing survivors out of their last remaining goods, human vultures never miss a tragic feast.

  5. Nightly news is publicizing an easy way to donate to the red cross.

    Text the word “Haiti” to 90999 and $10.00 will automatically be donated to the Red Cross via your phone bill.

  6. I want to encourage people to post links for donations on their GMail/Facebook status messages. I know probably most people here have already donated, but sometimes people we know need encouragement in the form of an easy link to click on. It’s amazing how many people don’t donate because it just fails to occur to them.

    Here’s my Gmail status message:

    Donate to Oxfam: http://tr.im/Knaa MSF: http://tr.im/Knak

  7. I never never ever in my life thought I would be defending Pat Robertson, but I don’t see how his comments are racists. Bigoted and ignorant, yes. But it seems more based in disdain for the religion and culture than anything to do with skin color. Just splitting hairs maybe.

    1. @anachronismo: Because the myth that the Haitians made a pact with the devil stems back to European disbelief that a group of rag-tag black slaves could succeed in revolting against the French, ousting a major power, without some sinister supernatural help.

      Also because, for some reason, people see blacks performing Vodou rituals and call it Satanism, yet are less likely to do so for, say, Indians performing Hindu rituals, even though both are polytheistic and have gods of death and what-not. Why the double-standard?

      Whether or not Pat’s comments were informed by his own racism, this (old) idea of Haitian devil worship certainly stemmed to a large extent from racist ideas.

  8. Of course it’s racist; he’s referring of course to Voodoo/Vodoun. That aside, I can’t think of another occasion where he blamed a revolution for catastrophe.

  9. It angers me that people equate Robertson’s rhetoric as the mouthpiece for believers all over the world (or at least in America). I think Don Miller’s take is a more accurate representation of the Christians I know. Especially those of us who have dedicated time, resources and prayer to help in Haiti’s orphanages long-before the earthquake.


    1. The trouble is, a great many evangelicals in the US do respect Pat Robertson and, in some regards, he is the mouthpiece for many.

      The 700 Club has a million daily viewers. And this is obviously does not include those who agree with Pat Robertson but don’t watch him on a daily basis.

      I tried to find some figures for Pat’s approval ratings, but I guess that’s not exactly tracked. But remember what a blow it was for Romney when Robertson endorsed Giuliani. It showed that Giuliani had the approval of the evangelicals.

      One can’t deny that Robertson has a large role as the mouthpiece and standard-bearer of a large swarth of American Christendom.

    Orlando, FL. — January 12, 2010 — As the world is stunned by the horrific news coming from the small island nation of Haiti in the wake of a powerful earthquake, Clean the World is focused on one thing: providing soap to the desperate island country.

    “Today, our thoughts and prayers go out to our Haitian brothers and sisters” says Shawn Seipler, Executive Director of Clean the World. “As part of the global relief effort, Clean the World is committed to delivering massive amounts of soap into Haiti.”

    The Need for Soap
    Clinical studies by the World Health Organization and others show that the use of soap in hand washing reduces the incidences of acute respiratory illness and diarrheal disease, the leading and second leading cause of death amongst children worldwide respectively. By providing soap to the impoverished people of Haiti, Clean the World hopes to greatly reduce these deaths. Right now, as relief efforts begin and, undoubtedly, will last for months and years to come, proper hygiene and the need for soap is essential.

    In 2009, Clean the World delivered 200,000 bars of soap to schools, orphanages, clinics and churches in Haiti. Partnering with the Cap Haitien Health Network and the Evangelical Church of Haiti, Clean the World is providing free soap to people desperate for proper hygiene.

    As Clean the World receives information from the ground in Haiti, they will continue to update Twitter, Facebook and their blog at http://www.cleantheworld.org/blog

    Sterilization Process and Distribution Efforts
    Soap, shampoo and other bathroom amenities are donated to Clean the World by hotels all across the country, soap manufacturers, and individuals. Partially used amenities are processed by Clean the World at their recycling facility in Orlando, Florida. At the facility, Clean the World employees and volunteers clean the collected soap and sterilize it using a proprietary steaming process. The soap is then packaged and sent by cargo plane or boat for distribution in Haiti and other countries abroad.

    Primarily supported by the generous donations of individuals and corporations, Clean the World is recycling soap from hotels that would otherwise end up in landfills across the United States. The effort has a dual benefit of reduced waste and saving lives.

    Clean the World’s soap and shampoo recycling program has hotels participating from 17 states across the country including Florida, New York, Oklahoma, California and Colorado. In the state of Florida alone, over 90 properties across the state are participating in this life saving, recycling program. After a hotel guest uses their soap and shampoo, participating hotels collect the partially used items and place them in their Clean the World recycling bins. Clean the World then picks the items up from the hotels, and recycles them with a hygienically and environmentally safe re-purposing process.

    Westin Diplomat Resort, located in Hollywood, FL, partners with Clean the World to recycle their partially used soap and shampoo amenities, and help save lives. “With a large number of Haitian’s on our staff and in our community here in South Florida, this tragedy highlights the importance of the commitment we have made to those less fortunate through soap and shampoo recycling and distribution” says Michelle Shulman, Director of Public Relations at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa.

    In addition to Haiti, Clean the World has distributed soap internationally through partners with other missions and charitable organizations including World Vision, the Floating Doctors, Harvest Time International, and missions to Lesotho, South Africa, Baja, Mexico and Freeport, Bahamas. Domestically, the Salvation Army, Covenant House, STAR Family Center and about 15 other missions and shelters have received soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion.

    About Clean the World Foundation, Inc.
    An Orlando-based charitable organization, Clean the World Foundation, Inc. is committed to the prevention of illness and death caused by acute respiratory infection and diarrheal disease in countries across the globe. In an effort to prevent these needless deaths from occurring, Clean the World Foundation collects discarded soap and shampoo from hotels to be recycled and distributed these soap products along with appropriate educational materials to domestic homeless shelters and impoverished countries worldwide. In 2009, Clean the World collected, recycled and distributed over 230 tons of soap and other bathroom amenities to impoverished people worldwide. With the donations of these discarded soap and shampoo products, Clean the World Foundation is a step closer to reaching their goal of preventing the millions of lives lost each year — and they’re doing it one bar of soap at a time. Clean the World Foundation, Inc is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization.

  11. ‘HORROR IN HAITI’ – um, what about the people on the OTHER part of the same island, (I believe) the Dominican Republic? Surely an earthquake wouldn’t hesitate at a country boundary – yet I haven’t heard a single word about them on any news channel ….

    1. An American who lived 80 miles from Port AU Prince said that they felt the earthquake but it did not do any damage.

  12. The distance from Port Au Prince to Santo Domingo, the capitol of the Dominican Republic is roughly 150-200 miles. 200 miles is the distance from San Francisco to Reno. Earthquake vibrations fall off relatively quickly with distance, which is why you don’t hear much about the great 1906 Reno earthquake.

  13. Gary61 – the earthquake was extremely shallow compared to most, and located very close to the capital. Shallow means strong localized effects and not as much distant effects.

    It’s pretty sad to see just 20 comments in this thread. I would like to have thought BB people would be more active and interested and concerned about this horrible disaster. More fun to argue about cops and copyright I guess :(

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