Haiti Quake: Ned Sublette update, open thread


(Photo: from the NOH photostream on flickr, thanks Bill)

Former Boing Boing guestblogger Ned Sublette has been posting updates on the Haiti earthquake to his mailing list. I'm taking the liberty of reposting a large portion of the latest here, and after the jump, for those who do not subscribe. Boing Boing readers, consider this an open thread to share links to other information resources or ways to help in the comments. Ned writes:

There is no way yet to know the extent of the devastation in the wake of the strongest earthquake ever recorded in the Caribbean basin region. Phrases like "very significant" are being used. It is probably safe to say that thousands are dead and presumably continuing to die in the absence of fast response, and tens of thousands are homeless.

The ground-shake in Port-au-Prince was intense. It's a city of some two million people who mostly live in flimsy housing without functional building codes. The Red Cross estimates that three million have been directly affected by the disaster. President René Preval and First Lady Elisabeth Debrosse Delatour are reported unharmed, though the National Palace collapsed. The UN mission has for the last four years been housed in the Hotel Christopher, which collapsed, with people trapped in the rubble. The head of the UN force was killed, as was the archbishop.

Everyone with friends and family in Haiti has had a sleepless night. Getting information is hard. Richard Morse's last tweet last night read, "when my batteries die I will no longer be able to communicate..it's going to be a long night..our prayers go out to everyone"

A worse problem than raising money is going to be the lack of organizational infrastructure with which to coordinate and distribute aid. How do you get drinking water to two million people? A number of people seem to be ready to go down as volunteers, as per the comments on redcrosschat.

No word yet of the situation of the Cuban doctors who are in Haiti on an ongoing basis.

The best composite source I've seen is the "The Lede" blog at the New York Times -- too long and too many widgets to copy into an e-mail -- with updated information about resources for information and contributions, as well as tweetlinks, pictures, video, etc.

There is a State Department number to call for information about family members in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747. I don't know how useful that will be.

To make an emergency donation to Oxfam, go here.

There is a site set up to collect information. It doesn't have a lot of material yet, but it reports that the P-au-P airport is functioning. On the other hand, CNN's Anderson Cooper reported that a helicopter he was in almost collided with a small plane -- that is, there is no functional air-traffic control.

There have been numerous aftershocks. An explanation of the tectonics underlying the quake is at scienceblogs.com.

Photographer daniel morel's twitpic blog, if you can bear to look at it, is here.

There's also a flickr feed.

For vodouisants, yesterday was Dantor's day, today is Papa Ogou.

Here are some articles, many of which have pictures at the original sites.

NYT, Miami Herald, AP, NPR, WaPo, Reliefweb, Prensa Latina