Haiti earthquake devastation

Image courtesy of Mashable

Stunned Haitians piled their dead
on the crumbling streets

Annette Marie Hyder

The earth did not open
an angry mouth
hungrily eating
and there was no betrayal
in the lips of stone
that kissed them to their rest.
Forested fists were not shaken in rage.
It was weariness that caused it.

Haiti’s shoulders shuddered.
Her feet faltered in the steps
she’s used to taking
and she trembled
because she could no longer carry
in that moment
the weight
of so many souls on her back

beloved millstones
that started out as beads
on a necklace
whose decoration dimmed
as burden burgeoned
and ankle bracelets whose bells
stopped tinkling
and began to weep instead.

Now Haiti weeps too
and we who have not faces of granite
weep with her, tears like gravel
for the way that they cut
and prayers slide like pebbles
into a landslide of mourning.

Huffington Post reports:

A day after the great Haiti earthquake, government officials today estimated the death toll could surpass a seemingly unimaginable 100,000.

Disaster teams, a Navy carrier and a hospital ship are headed to the country.

Stunned Haitians piled their dead on the crumbling streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince, and President Andre Preval reported stepping over dead bodies.

While specifics on the number of casualties from the earthquake remained unclear, early reports point to heavy and widespread damage in a country that is the poorest in the western hemisphere.

President Obama today said the United States government would offer “swift, coordinated, and aggressive” aid to the estimated three million people caught in the disaster.

The quake struck late Tuesday afternoon, centered just 10 miles from the densely-populated capital.

Read the entire article here.

Would you like to help?

The 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti has many looking for ways to help.

ABC News has a five page list of easy-just-click-here contact information for such organizations as Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF, Food for the Hungry, Habitat for Humanity and many more. Link

In a blog post on the U.S. State Department Web site, Clinton’s Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills called for those wanting to help to donate $10 by texting “HAITI” to “90999.” The $10 donation will go automatically to the Red Cross “to help with relief efforts” and will be charged directly to your cell phone bill.

One of Haiti’s most famous sons, musician Wyclef Jean, has used Twitter to rally web users to contribute to his grassroots Yele Haiti earthquake fund. He’s urged his followers to text “Yele” to the number 501501. If you send the text, the organization will receive $5. The amount will be added to your next cell phone bill. You can retweet Wyclef’s updates and get some of your Twitter followers to donate, too.

The U.S. Better Business Bureau runs a site where U.S. donors can verify that a nonprofit is legit before donating. Source

Update 01-20-10:
You might want to stick with tried and true Red Cross for donation-by-texting since there have been questions raised about Wyclef Jean’s charity, Yele Haiti. It has come under fire with accusations being made that In 2007 the foundation’s spending exceeded its revenues by $411,000 with a large percent of its expenses benefiting several of Jean’s for-profit businesses. Source

Related links:

Fox News: Fast facts about Haiti earthquake
USA TODAY: How to help victims of the Haiti earthquake
Phoenix Business Journal: Be wary of earthquake relief scams
ABC News coverage
Gawker’s updates on Wyclef Jean’s charity, Yele Hait

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