Remembering A National Tragedy 5 Years Later
January 12, 2015 marks the fifth year anniversary of the earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people in Haiti and displaced more than one million others. On January 12, 2010 when the 7.3 magnitude devastating earthquake struck the capital Port-au-Prince and its surroundings at 4:53 pm, the world watched with disbelief one of the worst natural disasters ever recorded in the history of Haiti for more than 200 years.
The quake destroyed and damaged many commercial buildings, residential homes, notable landmark buildings including the Presidential Palace, the municipal building, the Cathedral of Port-au-Prince, the legislative building, and other government offices.
The National Palace - After
The National Palace - Before
The epicenter of the quake was located near the town of Leogane about 25 miles West from Port-au-Prince and was felt all way up to the city of Jacmel in the South East and other settlements in Haiti. The death toll and the high number of people injured drew a remarkable emergency response from the international community. Bodies were rescued beneath rubbles, while other survivors have to be amputated. Those who witnessed this tragedy still recall the aftermath of the quake as an unhealed wound.
Five years later, Haiti is still struggling to recover from this tragedy while numerous projects have seen the day despite a reduction in aid and unexpected political upheaval. Many families are still waiting for the implementation of large-scale projects designed to help them rebuild their lives and livelihoods. Others are hoping to see the country moving forward, but many political brokers are thinking differently as they expand their wings of misfortune to commemorate this tragedy.
It seems that many of us have short memory or simply have no respect whatsoever for the souls buried under the rubble as well as the affected families. A January 12 memorial to commemorate the 200,000 victims is still under construction. Nonetheless, the 35 seconds of horror who
brought tears and sadness to Haitians and the world are far yet to be forgotten. So, let not the years within and ahead be buried under political rubbles. Instead, let demonstrate our often remarkable resilience not for one day, nor a few years, but for a lifetime regardless of our
political differences. Are we there yet?
Last updated 01/09/15
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