Tag Archives: Port-au-Prince

The other kind of economic collapse… [pics]

When we talk about the “economic collapse” in the U.S., it is in reference to bubbles bursting and credit default swaps gone wrong.

Sadly, this is the literal version of an economic collapse:

That is what used to be Unibank, the largest bank in Haiti. I took that picture driving by it with my dad on our way to drop me off at The Oloffson. The following day I walked over there to get a closer look:

Here’s an aerial shot as well. I didn’t take that one though, Google did.

There are no bailouts for this kind of damage.

If an earthquake occurs in a poverty-stricken country and no Americans are around to witness it…

…they can still see it on instant replay and feel like they’re there. Way to go, technology.

(Update: 1/23/10 — The original video was taken down for violating terms of use but I found another one and posted that)

My mom just sent me this video… it only has 345 views so it must not have circulated much yet, but this totally floored me. Watching this you can really get an idea of the force that inflicted the damage. This is one of the results of that force:

A densely-populated area in Port-au-Prince.

These housing systems are where many poverty-stricken Haitians live. Because Haiti is extremely mountainous, those who lack transportation (I recently read that only 1 in 200 haitians has a car) live in these close-knit valley-side structures to facilitate getting the resources they need to sustain themselves in everyday life. Lots of people did not even get the bare necessities before. What will they do now?

This is my first blog entry on the Haiti Earthquake. I’ve been following it around the clock since I first got news of it on Tuesday evening. I have a lot of thoughts that I want to verbalize and plenty of them are backlogged in my brain. I know that if I try to start from the beginning it’s going to mess up my flow, so I’m just going to go from here and step back to reflect when I can.

For some background, my father and sister are in Haiti right now. They live in Petionville, right near the epicenter of the first 7.3 quake. They’re OK for now, and I really hope they stay that way.

I was in Haiti in June of 2009 visiting my family for about half a month. There are many things about that country that are difficult to understand without having been there. I’ll do my best to share my perspective.


Photo from Flickr by Matthew Marek, American Red Cross.