Tuesday, January 12, 2010

When was the last time Haiti ever had any good news?

No country circumvents all natural disasters. Every one will at some point suffer from a terrible flood or an earthquake or a hurricane or a tornado or a drought or pestilence or a volcanic eruption or a landslide or a tsunami or a heat wave or a deep freeze. However, the bad news in most countries is balanced out by good news, recovery, rebuilding and a better infrastructure able to face what nature brings.

That said, I cannot remember ever hearing good news out of Haiti. Along with Bangladesh, the news is always failure heaped upon tragedy heaped upon misery. Haiti is direly poor, badly governed, overwrought with crime, filthy, massively overcrowded, terribly educated, corrupt and unlucky.

Today, a devastating earthquake rocked that godforsaken country:
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- A strong earthquake hit the impoverished country of Haiti on Tuesday afternoon, where a hospital collapsed and people were screaming for help. Other buildings also were damaged.

The earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 and was centered about 14 miles (22 kilometers) west from the capital of Port-au-Prince, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

An Associated Press videographer saw the wrecked hospital in nearby Petionville, and a U.S. government official reported seeing houses that had tumbled into a ravine.

No further details on any casualties or other damage were immediately available.

My guess, alas, is that thousands of Haitians will die from this event and tens of thousands will be left homeless. That is just the way it goes in that unfortunate land.

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