Haiti needs help

An earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter Scale would cause devastation wherever it struck. When it is centered near the crowded capital of one of the poorest nation’s on Earth — as occurred late Tuesday in Haiti — the death and destruction are unimaginable.

No one knows how many are dead. Estimates run from several thousand to half a million people. This, in a country of 9 million.

Much of Port-au-Prince was destroyed, including schools, hospitals, a massive shanty town and government buildings. The nation’s Parliament building and presidential palace both crumbled.

And a government that was only marginally functional to begin with has been unable to cope with this tragedy. The head of Catholic Relief Services in Haiti told colleagues in the United States Wednesday morning there were “no rescue efforts whatsoever” by the government, only individual citizens attempting to dig with their bare hands for survivors and bodies buried in the rubble.

By late Wednesday, help was beginning to arrive, from the United States and elsewhere. Hospital ships, helicopters, search and rescue teams and emergency vehicles were all reported to be on their way. President Barack Obama, leaders of other countries and United Nations officials, all promised additional assistance.

You can help, too. Check with churches or other organizations to see what they’re doing. Or send a monetary donation to:

Haitian Relief

The American Red Cross

506 Gunnison Ave.

Grand Junction, Colo., 81501.


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