(Tequila Minsky for The New York Times)
The damage after the devastating earthquake in Haiti is almost unimaginable. Considering how poverty stricken this country is, I can't imagine how much more they can take. As I write this, incredibly large numbers are being tossed around as to the death count, anywhere from 100,000 to 500,000. To put that in perspective, the Tsunami in 2004 killed 230,000+ people in several countries. We can only hope and pray that these numbers are wrong. Unfortunately, aftershocks and disease will kill more people. Here are some notable and painful details:
- The Presidential Palace looks to be destroyed.
- The Cathedral of Our Lady in Port-au-Prince is also destroyed.
- Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot of Port-au-Prince and hundreds of priests and seminarians are dead.
- Millions are homeless. Buildings were poorly built and certainly not built to withstand earthquakes.
- At least 16 UN staff dead and 150 are missing.
- At least one hospital has collapsed.
I urge you to go The Anchoress blog for more comprehensive coverage and where to donate. Our donation is going to Food For the Poor which has a long term history providing Haiti with food and aid.
When life in Haiti is difficult at best, heartbreaking usually, this tragedy is stunning. I know personally so many wonderful Haitian people. They are hard workers, compassionate and with deep faith. I ask you to help in any way you can, most especially with your prayers.
UPDATE: While the President and his wife have survived the earthquake, it appears that most of his government is missing, with many, if not most, presumed dead.
Please also read: "We are called...to be a light" at Whispers in the Loggia shows the pain of Haitians in the U.S.
Also, read Miami Haitians share grief, comfort and hope at Mass at the Miami Herald.
The Archdiocese of Miami also is involved in help for Haitians in both the U.S. and on the island. The Miami Archdiocese is the home to the second largest group of Haitians in America (the first is New York.) They have been instrumental for years in providing support for Haiti through all it's tragedies and crises, and supporting Haitians here.