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January 20, 2010
Aftershock hits Haiti a week after massive earthquake

Wednesday morning, an aftershock hit Haiti as the country struggles to recover from last week’s earthquake, that killed thousands, leveled cities and left millions homeless. Today’s aftershock was 5.9 magnitude, with an epicenter about 35 miles (60 kilometers) west-southwest of Port-au-Prince, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The threat of aftershocks has kept most inhabitants of Port-au-Prince out of their homes. People still left in the city spend the nights in makeshift sleeping compounds. Our German partner Deutsche Welle reports on the strong aftershock that hit early this morning.

Photo: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Michael Blanpied, USGS Earthquakes Hazards Program coordinator, gives an update on the current situation in Haiti. He talks about the expectations for continued aftershocks in the coming weeks. To listen to the U.S. Geological Survey’s latest podcast on Haiti with Blanpied click here.

Mark Turner, author of Dispatches from a Fragile Island shares his thoughts and personal experiences during the aftermath of the crisis.

Another awful day of bad news.

The full extent of the losses to our community is finally hitting home, as hope disappears.

This morning we learned of the death of the wonderful, vivacious Alexandra Duguay, whose house we visited only a couple of weeks ago. Also at that house party was Andrew Wyllie and family. Andrew survived, but we have learned his family did not…

It’s devastating. Everyone we met, every party we attended, everyone we had a meal with or invited over has either perished, or lost someone very close. And there is so much we still don’t know.

The fact that Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere has received a lot of attention since the earthquake. Haiti’s lack of resources and widespread poverty before the quake have made the current situation even more grave.

However, a more nuanced view of Haiti is often lacking. Richard André, a guest blogger for Americas Quarterly, discusses the culture and resilience of Haiti beyond the poverty. André was born in Queens, New York to Haitian parents.

Then, as now, the world and its news agencies are turning their attention to Haiti: a small country in the Caribbean that goes almost entirely unnoticed on a daily basis. That is, unless a crisis requiring foreign aid and intervention emerges, as most do. It is no surprise that upon hearing that my family is from Haiti, most Americans respond in an apologetic tone, saying that my country is sad and vulnerable and with an unfortunate past.

The “Haiti = poor” perspective, despite being a gross oversimplification, can be explained and exemplified by the coverage on every news channel immediately following the earthquake. Second to the fact that the earthquake happened, the most memorable piece of information that was repeated over and over is that “Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.” Though the poverty that has plagued Haiti and exacerbated these disasters is part of the country, it is also just that—only a part of a complex history and identity that is both proud and rich.

Experts give their views on how Haiti should rebuild the country and the best ways to supply aid in Foreign Policy.

In Haiti, neither relief nor reconstruction will be enough: Restoration should not be the goal. The earthquake is not the first natural catastrophe that Haiti has faced. In 2008, four hurricanes wreaked devastation. Since 1994, five major natural catastrophes, an average of one every three years, have hit Haiti’s population centers. Worse, these spikes of disaster have punctuated a long-term downward drift. To exit from this spiral, relief is not enough: A coordinated and targeted multibillion dollar Haiti fund now has to bring real hope of change to the country’s youth.

For raw, aerial footage of the devastation in Haiti watch the Associated Press report here:

Read what some people are saying about today’s aftershock on Twitter:

LeChantdOiseau Been another quake in #Haiti?

thatgirl_hannah Pray for haiti- big aftershock this morning, 6.1

blackmediascoop Its only been 8 days & HAITI gets hit AGAIN! A 6.1 mag “AFTERSHOCK” struck this morning. Experts say these aftershocks could last for MONTHS

-Geneva Sands-Sadowitz

For more Worldfocus coverage of Haiti, visit our extended coverage page: Haiti’s Poor.

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This is a very big disaster and Hopefully people realize this and try to help the Haitians get their lives back on track. I can understand them on a small level because when Katrina Struck I was there and it was hard for us to get back on our feet.
Stay strong Haiti because the help you deserve is on the way hopefully.
Mickee Love

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