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Massive earthquake (7.0) rocks Haiti: Aftershocks reverberating, US sending in rescue troops (with video) (Updated 7/5/14 with corrected link)

Ezili Danto

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  Jan. 13, 2010

Massive earthquake (7.0) rocks Haiti: Aftershocks reverberating 5.9, 5.3 which are major earthquakes in and off themselves. In certain areas, people can only see dust, US sending in military troops, Humanitarian aid. Major hotels have fallen. Tsumani warning was in effect.



"The area of Kafou is severely affected, is the epicenter of devastation...the population of Port au Prince has just been REDUCED, don't know by about how much. Everyone, rich and poor, built on the mountains, the mountains are down! This is going back to the ground zero. Back to the 1804 beginning." ---a call from Haiti, Jan. 12, 2010 at 6:10pm.

Facebook at: Earthquake Haiti


The US State Department has issued a note with this number 888-407-4747 for information regarding the earthquake




Haiti National Palace collapses (Source:, see also HLLN website)



Around 4:53 p.m on January 12, 2010, a massive earthquake, registering 7.0 on the Richter scale, rocked Haiti, striking just off the heavily populated Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. "U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) geophysicist Kristin Marano called it the strongest earthquake since 1770 in what is now Haiti." (See, AP report - Quake devastates Haiti, many casualties feared)

Here is Ezili's HLLN current information, as of Tuesday evening:


The General Hospital in Port-au-Prince is down

The National Palace collapsed - palè a kraze!


President Renee Preval and his wife escaped injury.


The headquarters of the U.N. peacekeeping mission collapsed

No one knows how many dead or injured


Report from an HLLN member who was on the phone to Haiti, told us that: "The road to Delmas 60 has collapsed down the mountain burying many homes. The people are screaming for help. Down the hill closer to Teleco there are a lot of UN troops on the street but that many of the roads are blocked with debris from collapsed homes..."


The earthquake was quickly followed by two strong aftershocks of an initial magnitude of 5.9 and 5.5. Reports indicate more than 20 aftershock earthquakes shattered Haiti and still more reverberating as, one person said, "things are just trembling, crumbling and falling down."


The aftershocks were major earthquakes in and of themselves.


Other areas of Haiti around the capital, especially the South, suffered heavy damage also. A Haitian in shock told HLLN, "in Au Cayes, the ocean has entered the city."


People, say, the sky is clouded with dust -pousyè - dust, everywhere.


Obama is offering to send in military/rescue troops and humanitarian aid.

Phone lines that are working are: Haiti-tel and Voila.

Digicel phone tower is down.


No landlines are working, no radio broadcast, no TV broadcast, no electricity...


Tsunami warning was in effect for hours after the earthquake began.


All windows are shattered in houses in la plaine


Houses are falling down everywhere.

Montana Hotel, Hotel Caribe, Christopher Hotel and the Exagon , all, badly damaged.


All the poor living on the mountains, in houses build on the mountains, feared suffered heavy, heavy casualty. Our report is that these houses on the mountains tumbled down, one on top of the other.


A terrible situation! Devastating. There's NEVER been an earthquake of this magnitude in Haiti. Major aftershocks happening... Tuesday's horrific earthquakes follow the four devastating storms/hurricances of September 2008 that caused almost 1,000 deaths, put the City of Goinaves under water for months, with Haiti suffering an estimated $1 billion dollar in damages.


Nothing works, no one to assist anyone as most people were in panic, injured, searching for friends and family members in the first hours of the quake.


No one knows where necessary personnel are


As of this writing, State Department had little contact with US Embassy compound (For the first three hours after the earth quake.)


There are about 1000 US personnel assigned to the US compound (our info at the time the US Embassy , the fifth largest US Embassy in the WORLD, was opened 2-years ago in Haiti). It was built after the 2004 Haiti Bush Regime change and it is the fifth largest US embassy, only after those in Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany and China.


There are 9000 UN troops in Haiti.


According to an AP report, "Brazil's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday some of Brazil's 1,266 soldiers in Haiti are missing. U.N. peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy said late Tuesday that the missing included mission chief Hedi Annabi, who was in the building when the quake struck."


This is catastrophic. Most tall structures are flattened.


According to the AP report "Venezuela's government said it would send a military plane with canned foods, medicine and drinking water and provide 50 rescue workers. Mexico, which suffered an earthquake in 1985 that killed some 10,000 people, planned to send doctors, search and rescue dogs and infrastructure damage experts.


Italy said it was sending a C-130 cargo plane Wednesday with a field hospital and emergency medical personnel as well as a team to assess aid needs. France said 65 clearing specialists, with six sniffer dogs, and two doctors and two nurses were leaving."


A few minutes after the 7.0 earthquake, at around 6:55 p.m., a plane took off from the Port au Prince airport. Subsequently, the airport closed and our information is that all commercial flights are cancelled for the time being.


Here's official maps and tabbed data for the 7.0 quake... 

(This link is updated to the following:


Images from Port-au-Prince: Earthquake


Some Photos of earthquake


Earthquake photo from Daniel Morel




Ezili Dantò of HLLN

January 12, 2010

HLLN website





Association of Haitian Physician Abroad (AMHE)

On Tue, 1/12/10, AMHE Florida Chapter wrote:


For Immediate Release


January 12, 2010


The Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad (AMHE), South Florida Chapter is deeply saddened by the news of the devastating earthquake that hit on Haiti on Tuesday, January 12, 2010. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families of the people of Haiti who are affected by this disaster.


We stand ready to collaborate with other organizations in order to coordinate the relief efforts. We are continuing to monitor the situation and will keep you informed of any new development.


Herold Merisier, MD

President AMHE South Florida Chapter



Volunteer with Eritaj for Family Response



Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 1:35 AM


During the next several weeks, Haiti will need all the help it can get. At Eritaj, we have chosen to help families in the US locate their loved ones as soon as possible and if we can,help them find the help they need to connect and support their families.



You can help by answering calls from the United States, Haiti and other places wherever you are. Write us at eritajfoundation@ to find out how you can help answer calls. Call 800 470-6201 to trace a family member or to let your family know that you are safe.



Please circulate broadly




Quake devastates Haiti, many casualties feared

AP by Johnathon Katz, Jan 13, 2010



Update: Caribbean tsunami watch canceled following Haiti earthquakeJanuary 12, 5:17 PMChicago International Travel ExaminerDennis D. Jacobs

This photo provided by Carel Pedre shows people running past rubble of a damaged building in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010. The largest earthquake ever recorded in the area shook Haiti on Tuesday, collapsing a hospital where people screamed for help. (AP Photo/Carel Pedre)




tsunami watch that was issued for some islands in the Caribbean Sea after Tuesday's earthquake in Haiti has now been canceled. The alert was issued after a quake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale struck Tuesday afternoon near the capital of Haiti.


According to the U.S. Geological Service, the quake's epicenter was about 10 miles off the coast of Port-au-Prince and about six miles underground.


A tsunami watch was issued for Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and the Bahamas, although the USGS reported that quakes of this nature historically do not generate tsunamis. Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. The AP reported people in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, were seen fleeing from houses when tremors from the earthquake were felt in the city.


The El Nacional newspaper of Santo Domingo reported that residential towers were evacuated in the city and afternoon and evening school classes were canceled. A "red alert" tsunami warning was issued for coastal areas of the Dominican Republic, including the province of Altagracia, where the popular resort of Punta Cana is located. Some larger-than-normal waves were observed, but the feared tsunami did not materialize.


There were early reports of widespread damage in Haiti, including the collapse of a hospital, and the earthquake reportedly could be felt as far away as Santiago, Cuba, about 250 miles west of Port-au-Prince.


The AP reported the hospital collapsed in the suburb of Petionville, a hillside area that is home to diplomats and many wealthy Haitians. There were reports that the Christopher Hotel and the Hotel Montana also were badly damaged.


AFP reported that the building housing the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti had collapsed.


"There are numerous people underneath the rubble, both dead and injured," an employee of the mission said.


MSNBC quoted Henry Bahn, an official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture visiting Haiti, as saying the sky in Port-au-Prince was gray from dust.


"Everybody is just totally, totally freaked out and shaken," he said.


There have been at least three strong aftershocks, all measuring at least 5.0 on the Richter scale, and phone service reportedly was out in the capital.


There were unconfirmed reports that at least part of the Presidential Palace had collapsed. The city was dark except for a few fires and some car lights according to one report from an eyewitness on Twitter.


Port-au-Prince has an official population of 1 million, but up to 2.5 million live in the metropolitan area, often in substandard housing.


President Barack Obama reportedly was monitoring the situation in Haiti closely and the White House issued a statement from the president promising American aid if needed.


"We stand ready to assist the people of Haiti," the president said.



Major magnitude 7 quake hits Haiti: USGS

Reuters | Tuesday, January 12, 2010; 5:40 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A major magnitude 7.0 quake hit the impoverished country of Haiti on Tuesday and prompted a tsunami watch for parts the Caribbean, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said on Tuesday.

The epicenter of the quake, which was initially reported off the coast, was

located inland, only 10 miles from the capital Port-au-Prince and was very

shallow at a depth of only 6.2 miles.

A major earthquake, of magnitude 7 or higher, is capable of causing widespread and heavy damage. There was no immediate report of damage or casualties.

The tsunami center said the watch was in effect for Haiti, the neighboring

Dominican Republic, with which it shares the island of Hispaniola, Cuba and the Bahamas.

"A destructive widespread tsunami threat does not exist based on historical earthquake and tsunami data," the center said. "However, there is the possibility of a local tsunami that could affect coasts located usually no more than a 100 km (60 miles) from the earthquake epicenter."


The quake was quickly followed by two nearby, strong aftershocks of initial magnitude of 5.9 and 5.5.

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

(Reporting by Sandra Maler, Editing by Stacey Joyce)


Tsunami alert after buildings collapse as powerful quake rocks Haiti

By Helen Kennedy

Daily News Staff Writer

Tuesday, January 12th 2010, 5:58 PM

A major earthquake hit the hurricane-battered island of Haiti Tuesday,

collapsing buildings - including at least one hospital - and prompting a

tsunami alert for the eastern Caribbean.

The magnitude 7.3 quake hit close to the capital Port-au-Prince, officials


Two powerful aftershocks measuring 5.9 and 5.5 on the Richter scale followed soon after, further damaging structures weakened by the initial quake.

The streets of the capital were reported to be full of panicked people. Power was out and phone service was down.

In Petitionville, where the hospital was wrecked, a visiting official with the

U.S. Department of Agriculture said homes had apparently collapsed into a ravine.

"The sky is just gray with dust," Henry Bahn told the Associated Press.

"I just hear a tremendous amount of noise and shouting and screaming in the distance."

Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, has been through untold misery in recent years.

A series of devastating storms and hurricanes in 2008 - Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike - killed hundreds and left up to a million homeless.

The island was just beginning to start showing the first signs of recovery.

Seventy percent of Haiti's population lives on less than two dollars a day and half the 8.5 million population is unemployed.


Strong quake hits Haiti, collapsing hospital

05:38 PM


The epicenter of the quake was 10 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, the


By U.S. Geological Survey

A powerful earthquake has struck Haiti, collapsing a hospital, the AP is


The U.S. Geological Survey put the preliminary magnitude at 7 and said the quake occurred at 4:53 p.m. ET, about 10 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, the capital. It was 6.2 miles deep.

A 5.9 aftershock hit at 5 p.m., followed by a magnitude 5.5 at 5:12 p.m.

A tsunami watch has been issued for Haiti, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas, but the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says "a destructive widespread tsunami threat does not exist based on historical earthquake and tsunami data."

A tsunami is not expected along the coasts of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico states, and Eastern Canadian provinces, according to the Atlantic warning center.

An AP videographer saw the hospital in Petionville collapse and could hear


Update at 6:07 p.m. ET: USGS analyst Dale Grant told AP it was "the largest quake recorded in this area." The last strong quake was magnitude 6.7 in 1984.

Analyst Don Blakeman said, "I think we are going to see substantial damage and casualties." He added, "We expect more aftershocks because this is a large, shallow earthquake."

A U.S. Department of Agriculture official reported seeing houses that had

tumbled into a ravine.

"Everybody is just totally, totally freaked out and shaken," said Henry Bahn, who was visiting Haiti. "The sky is just gray with dust."

Bahn said he was walking to his hotel room when the ground began to shake.

"I just held on and bounced across the wall," he said. "I just hear a

tremendous amount of noise and shouting and screaming in the distance."

Bahn said there were rocks strewn all over the place and he saw a ravine where several homes had been built. "It's just full of collapsed walls and rubble and barbed wire," he said.

(Posted by Michael Winter)


Forwarded by Ezili's Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network


Author's Bio: Human Rights Lawyer, Ezili Danto/Marguerite Laurent is dedicated to correcting the media lies and colonial narratives about Haiti. A writer, performance poet and lawyer, Ezili Danto is founder of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network, runs the Ezili Danto website, listserve, eyewitness project, FreeHaitiMovement and the on-line journal, Haitian Perspectives.