Haiti Tragedy: One Year Later
By Charlotte Bumstead
It was one year ago today, when just before 5 p.m., a magnitude 7.0 quake shattered the impoverished Caribbean nation. An estimated 230,000 people were killed by the disaster, hundreds of thousands were injured and one million were left homeless. About 800,000 Haitians are still residing in makeshift tent cities across the country.
The world watched this tragedy unfold with horror. Entire communities were destroyed when homes, office buildings and stores crumbled into piles of ruins within minutes. As hospitals overflowed and families mourned the loss of loved ones, organizations from surrounding continents did everything they could in a joint effort to help Haiti.
Today, Haitians gather in the capital of Port-au-Prince, where an early morning mass has taken place. Further masses and official ceremonies are planned in major churches and cities across the country to mark the sombre anniversary.
Canadians, too, are joining in the commemoration. Numerous events are taking place in larger cities, such as Montreal, where a moment of silence will be held at 4:53 p.m. ET.
Over the last 12 months, the Canadian government has devoted $550 million to Haiti. Canadians have raised another $220 million, for a total of $770 million to help offer relief. Though the generous donations continue to provide support by means of shelter, health services and supplies, the people of this destitute country are reminded every minute of their catastrophic loss.
The efforts by organizations are ongoing and there are still many ways Canadians can continue their contributions. Listed below are some of the charities seeking your assistance in further response to helping Haiti.
Action Against Hunger
Direct Relief International
Friends of the World Food Program
Habitat for Humanity
International Crisis Aid
Save the Children Federation