Earthquake Haiti 2010
HAITI – JANUARY 12, 2010
January 12th began as usual. Every one dedicated themselves to their usual activities. Some went to school or the university in search for the bread of knowledge; others traveled to work. On this beautiful morning in January, as in any other place, people had awakened from their sleep with many plans, concerns, and dreams, as well as problems to resolve … all of this was a concern especially since this was the beginning of a new year.
As the afternoon began, however, everything would take a sad turn. At 4:53 the ground in Haiti began to tremble. It lasted for thirty-five seconds, thirty-five interminable, deadly seconds … during which time all Haitians, despite the panic, prayed or pronounced the name of Jesus or meditated on the rosary.
Later we would become aware of the fact that the earthquake was 7.3 on the Richter scale with its epicenter located in Léogane, an area located near the capital, Port-au-Prince, and an area that was greatly affected.
The lives of many people changed in a short span of time … thirty-five seconds! Thirty-five horrible seconds!
Little time to do great and good things! Nevertheless it was enough time to put an end to the life of many people (300,000); enough time to transform many of our brothers and sisters into cripples; enough time to destroy thousands of buildings (schools, universities, churches, hospitals, stores, private residences, etc.).
This was a powerful time for the Haitian family, especially the night of January 12th when everyone took to the street in order to flee from the mountains of concrete; concrete that had once been homes. Since our country is situated in the path of many hurricanes concrete was utilized in construction so that buildings could withstand these storms.
Immediately the people went to work and began to dig out survivors who were trapped in the ruins. Even though people were filled with anxiety they were very concerned about their families. Some wept over the death of a mother, brother, sister, daughter, son or friend. Others lost everything: parents, children, brothers, sisters, all their belongings.
With the few resources at their disposal, people began to organize themselves and an extraordinary solidarity was manifested as people opened their homes to victims and offered them every form of relief.
This was certainly a natural disaster, but it was also an opportunity to draw closer to the Lord. We lived these moments in faith and prayer, confident in the love and the goodness of God who never abandons his children, who can raise up his people anew and restore to them the grace and the dignity that was lost.