Top News America
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Haiti Earthquake Damage Update VIDEO
Biblical was the word Secretary of State Clinton used to describe the damage a powerful earthquake visited on Haiti.
And even in a country that has endured deadly hurricanes, unrelenting violence and grinding poverty, the destruction was epic.
Not even the churches were spared.
In the light of day, the wrath of Mother Nature was revealed. She did not discriminate between rich and poor.
She tore down the Presidential Palace, the United Nations complex, the homes of the wealthy few that hugged the hills above Port-au-Prince.
She tore down the shoddy shanties in the swarming neighborhoods where most Haitians live, surviving on $2 a day.
She reduced hospitals and businesses and schools to rubble, burying thousands in the process.
She knocked down cell phone towers, all but cutting off Haiti from the rest of the world.
The quake survivors who were not heaving aside debris in a desperate search for other survivors stood stupefied by the sheer scope of the ruination.
Others moved about a city that was suddenly strange to them - a lunar landscape created by a remorseless force that left a crucifix here, an edifice there, as if to mock them.
Port-au-Prince was Warsaw or Dresden circa 1945 - a ruined hulk that bore the barest resemblance to what it once was.
Except the shabby Haitian capital was not much of a capital to begin with.
"Port-au-Prince was a lost city. Now it is a destroyed city," former Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue said yesterday.
Perhaps now, he said, "this could be a chance to rebuild Haiti in a new way."
Those were hopeful words on a day when the pitted streets of the capital were lined with bodies - most of them shrouded in sheets.
Rebuilding would have to wait. And all day long and deep into the night, the first task of the living was to claim the dead.