The tragedy in Haiti

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Nancy, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Has anyone else been watching the news coverage on the earthquake in Haiti? Yesterday while at my dad's we watched as they tried to free an eleven year old girl whose leg was pinned by an iron column and they were trying to cut through it with ordinary house tools. They finally freed her last night but I heard that she died today. Is that true? I was so sad to hear that and hoped it wasn't true.

    I feel so sad for all those people. Everytime one of these tragedies happen it makes me wonder why there is no emergency procedure in place so that one person, one organization can be in charge of coordinating rescue operations. The progress seems so slow butit does look like supplies are starting to get in.

  2. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Nancy, I have been watching all day. The little girl with corn rows and glasses did die today. They just don't have anyway to operate. No OR. No anesthesia. If her leg was mangled or crushed I can just imagine how frail she was.

    I was at the airport this morning with tears running down my face. Watching the mother outside the school listening to her child crying but unable to get to her was gut wrenching.

    Eventually we had to turn it off. It was just addicting.
  3. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    It's horrific. I cried last night watching the news and this morning watching GMA as I was getting ready for work. I had to turn it off. My heart aches.

  4. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    A young girl at my office has lost several family members so far.

    There are 2 large Haitian enclaves near where I live and the news stories are just devastating.
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Mine does too. I was so happy when I heard they freed the girl and were sending her to a hospital three hours away for treatment. She looked so good yesterday when they showed her in the rubble and I really hoped she would be ok. It's heartbreaking and it's hard to tear myself away from the coverage.

  6. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    A sad thing is that the aid is there; the infrastructure is so mangled that they cannot get the aid to people in need.

    Haiti is so mountainous and so badly damaged that they can't even land helicopters.
  7. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I can't watch....I've seen some of the news, but I can't watch for long. After 24/7 of 9-11 and Katrina and even the 2004 tsunami, I just can't watch. It's gut-wrenching.

    The only thing that I feel that I can do is pray for these people and the rescuers. There have got to be a few miracles in that sordid mess. I'm holding out for those stories.
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    It's only going to get worse. There are now reports of teenagers roaming the streets with machetes. Rescue attempts are being suspended at night for personal safety reasons.

    I remember watching the final scenes of "Titanic" in horror. I couldn't stand the thought of people grabbing on to each other and climbing over each other in a desperate struggle to save themselves from drowning. This is going to be the same thing in slow motion. Horror in slow motion.
  9. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Yeah, they just had to close down the "Doctors Without Borders" clinic and others in Port Au Prince due to security concerns.

    Bad enough they are desperate for supplies to treat the injured, but now it isn't safe for them to do so.

    We've got the hospital ship (USNS Comfort) out there, but she's only got 840 beds and a4 ORs.

    The looting is bad and it's going to get a lot worse and last a long time. Last I heard we were talking about sending 10K troops there to help with peacekeeping duties, but in all honesty, that's going to be a drop in the bucket.
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    They were already poor and hungry. The prisons fell. The government is gone. We're about to see how bad man's inhumanity to man can get when left unchecked. I've done my best to not see too much of the coverage. I know I won't be able to block it out forever.
  11. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    My Medical Reserve Corps nit told us yesterday they cant/wont deploy us there becuz it is just too unsafe for us to go do anything right now, and would probably be weeks or months before theyll even consider sending us to help. (But we are NOT "first responders")
    I have to say Ive been crying my eyes out for the suffering of fellow human beings. My heart just aches.
  12. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't understand why that little girl had to die. There was a CNN reporter with her the entire time. It's not like no one knew where she was. The Comfort ship is off shore. There are helicopters that have rescued people from more precarious situations. Why couldn't they lift her into a helicopter and take her to the ship where she possible could have been saved? Didn't anyone on that ship watch CNN to know this little girl needed help?

    As far at the doctors being removed form that hospital, there is going to be an investigation into that. Reports are that security was not an issue. There is little coordinationed effort between the UN and US. The effort as far as ther US is concerned is still rescue. The UN does not have the same priority. Dr. Gupta was the onluy doctorthat remained at the hosiptal and he claims there are a lot of questions that need to be answered here. I would like to see him be in charge of medical operations.

    It appears we (as a world, not one country) have learned nothing from the natural diasters that we have dealt with in the past. We must come together and develop a plan that can quickly be put into action when a tragedy strikes. It's not like we don't know what happens when people go without food and water for several days.

    I thought/hoped that after Katrina we would have learned some things that would prevent some of the horror and further tragedy that comes after a disaster.


    P.S. I just saw that the USNS Comfort ship just left Maryland and will take a couple days to get to Haiti. Another question then, why did it take so long for this ship to go into action? It's just so frustrating that help is not coming sonner.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  13. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Nancy, there's a sort of toxic shock that can appear after crushing injuries to the limbs. I would guess that this is what happened to the little girl.

    The USNS Comfort was deployed elsewhere and had to return to her home port in MD to pick up personnel and supplies before steaming to Haiti. She's not able to travel at "battle speed" like our combat ships can.

    Hence, the two day trip
  14. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I agree with you...

    It's hard to watch a well-heeled news reporter, standing there with his bottle of spring water, talking about how people are injured and starving and dying, living without shelter and there's no way to get help to them--and then mentions that he even felt the tremors of more after-shocks in the high-rise hotel where all the news agencies are staying.


    There is an intact, luxury high-rise hotel for reporters and news crews....there seems to be no problem flying news equipment in and out...their people are obviously well-fed. And they will stand there and say there are no options for the Haitians?

    That's just not right...

    I suspect that poverty has a lot to do with it. The victims are the poor.

    There is only help for those that can afford it. What we are seeing is EXACTLY what happened on the Titanic. If you are poor or low-class, you are left on your own--to survive (or not) any way you can.

    It's horrifying!

  15. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I think a sad reality to remember about, for example news crews accessing accomodations, is that even if that were not the case, there would not be enough safe accomodations for those in need anyhow. Security is a huge concern for all the haitian people at a time like this, it was a problem before all of this tragedy and now desperation is surging. But foreigners even more so will be security risks as they can easily be targetted. If there was no safe place for them, I doubt they would be allowed to enter the country as the police etc have too much on their plates to begin with, without having to preserve the safety of relief aid, reporters etc.

    Yet, without offering a safe place for these people, we in the world would have no access to information. We wouldn't see the stories that prompt us to send the aid and the donations so needed for the people suffering right now.

    I do know that when you hear of Sanjay Gupta sticking around when all the other doctors and nurses left (mistakenly thinking they were ordered evacuated) he stayed behind even when he believed there were security threats to his location. That tells me that even if CNN had arrangements for a nice cushy luxery hotel accomodations, it wasn't his choice and it wasn't a place for him to escape. He toughed it out on the street and serviced the ill. I admire that.

    I also have to say that if people are sending tens of thousands in equipment to send out the news, I can see why networks want a secure location. The liklihood is, the luxery hotels are probably standing simply because the groups that built them had an ability to build them to a decent standard, allowing them to withstand the quake and aftershocks. That in itself would make them a viable base of operations for news agencies and doctors etc. Their rolls there at times (reporters) might seem self serving in that hte networks get good money for broadcasting. However the world needs these images to fuel us to reach out with support.

    I was heartbroken to hear that young girl who was saved, had passed away. I can see how she would fall through the cracks. She touched our lives watching, because we could see her story unfold. Yet all across that nation, hundreds of thousands of children and adults are desperate for care, no different than the little girl. Although I can see how it happens, it didn't make my heart hurt for her loss any less :(

    So much tragedy. I watch a bit, and then I change the channel. I've made a donation and we decided as a family to make a donation each pay day for the next while.
  16. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I was wrong, the ship Comfort will not arrive until LATE next week!!!!

    I agree Daisy. There is absolutely a need for news reporters to be in the area. Historically back to WWI and probably before, journalists were an important and necessary part of the story. If it were not for the news coverage I doubt whether $9 million would have been raised from ordinary Americans. BUT when I saw Diane Sawyer reporting newsy type things the day after the earthquake, it made me wonder how she got in when rescue people could not. I wonder how many seats all the reporters took up on aircraft that had to be turned away or circle for hours before they could land on an already crowded and disorganized runway. Somehow all those reporters with all their equipment made it from the airport to their locations. So why can;t they move supplies through the same way? And to think that all those reporters are staying in a hotel while all the people they are reporting about are sleeping on the street.

    I also see that the UN now says it did not pull those doctors out, they left on their own. Dr. Gupta did not think security was at risk.

    I saw the video of machetti teens roaming the streets. I also saw the many videos of very patient and courageous people waiting in line for water or medical care. Why is it taking so long to get military/security people in to restore order in areas that are needed.

    It's sad that Haiti was until now a resort area, a tourist spot for people to visit and enjoy the beautiful beaches and ignore the poverty around them. I was always uncomfortable with the idea of going to such a poor country for vacation and yet I realize that this provided the only income these people had.

    Reports say there are 300,000 children in need of adoption in Haiti. 50% of Haitians are under 18 years old. Such poverty and overcrowding in such a poor country. Should it be rebuilt? Did they know about the fault line when they built their villages and cities there? Like New Orleans, should the city have been built below sea level in the first place?

  17. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have read that in all probability the little girl suffered from the following:

    As far as building along a fault line . . . I never understood why people would do that but I guess we can ask the same question about most of the cities in California. I think people just want to believe that this will never happen to them. The same applies to houses built along beachfront property that is vulnerable to hurricanes.

    A teacher at my school is from Haiti and got good news yesterday that his brother and other family members are okay. He has still not heard from close friends. The students at my school raised $1000 on Friday with several fundraising efforts. They plan to continue the efforts next week.

    I think it is wonderful that former presidents Clinton and Bush are working together with President Obama to help the relief effort for Haiti. It's good to see people coming together to help.

    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  18. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I typed a long response but I lost it.
    In essence it said that I was in S. Miami 2 days after Hurricane Andrew. There is no way I would have stayed at night. I went from a believer in "less military" until then to cheering them as they marched into the neighborhoods. It is absolute anarchy. No laws, no phones, no power, no police, no food. It is frontier mentality. My neighbors were armed. I was as afraid of them as I was of the criminals and looters that roamed at night.
    You can't imagine how black night is when there is no power, no police, no rules. We had 3 flat tires in the daytime. I can't imagine in the dark with no phone, no power, no AAA and no visible people or police. No gas stations. It is terrifying.

    I think there was a more humanitarian way to handle leaving the hospital tents. If the military was there to keep order then they could have continued their volunteer mission. A priority is keeping everyone safe including the volunteers. Who knows what ability there was to communicate with the police/military.

    Also, having military going into a foreign country is very tricky. If you have a 50% illiteracy rate and someone is telling you that America is coming in to take over and they will feed you poison biscuits, who are they going to believe? They need to get someone from the community to reassure the victims. Incorporate those who speak the language and customs to work with the teams of volunteers.

    Most of these people seem patient and cooperative but scared and in despair. Mob mentality can get out of control quickly which is why they need community leaders to be involved to reassure the crowd that everyone will get a turn then only allow X amount of people to approach the truck for food and water.
  19. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I am so saddened by the horror this Country is facing.
    This kind of devastation brings out the animal in a lot of people. The desperate feral animal.
  20. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I can barely watch.
    Our church (denomination) as a whole does a lot of work in Haiti and I just found out that the main representative for this work for the church (as a whole) is missing in the disaster. Our local church often provides monies for projects in Haiti over the years.
    Lasted edited by : Jan 16, 2010