Earthquake Disaster in Haiti: The Aftermath
By Clarese Alexander
A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck at 4:53 p.m. on Jan. 12 just 16 miles away from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Followed by the earthquake were many aftershocks that measured 5.0 in magnitude. Turning out to be the most destructive earthquake in 200 years, this created massive devastation in this already poverty-stricken country, killing an estimated 200,000 people and affecting the lives of three million people in the aftermath. Images of children looking for their parents, people crying over the dead, and strenuous rescue missions will forever be captured in the hearts of people world- wide.
Bowie State University students have taken on a mission to help raise money for the Haiti earthquake victims. On Jan. 14, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. created iKare (International Kappa Action Relief Effort) to benefit the victims of Haiti. As described on their Facebook group, iKare Initiative is a unified fraternal approach to raising money so that Kappa Alpha Psi as an organization can help make a difference for the victims of the natural disaster.
Bowie State University members from Kappa Alpha Psi collected clothes, shoes, non-perishable food items, and monetary donations in the Wiseman Student Center Ticket Booth on January 28-29 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Member Tre Pendergraph said, "It's a tragic, unfortunate event and the only thing you can do is help as much as possible."
The Student Government Association in conjunction with Bowie State University students of Haitian decent, have created a weeklong of events entitled, "Help Us Help Haiti Week." These events serve as a means of helping the victims of the Haiti tragedy by raising money, donating clothes and non-perishable items. Campus Activities Coordinator, LaQuitta Fletcher said, "Our goal is to raise over $1,000." This week will feature panel discussions and charitable events for the cause to uplift Haiti.
Bowie State University students are among millions of relief workers, military troops and medical personnel from all over the world working together to assist the earthquake victims by administering aid in the forms of providing food, water, housing, and medical attention. Nearly a month later, the aftermath of the earthquake still wreaks havoc on the people of Haiti. It is estimated that thousands of people have left Port-au-Prince and have relocated to live with friends or family members in nearby towns that have not been affected by the earthquake.
The devastation of the earthquake has caused about a million people to go homeless living in makeshift shelters. Medical treatment has been crucial in the survival of the people of Haiti. About 300,000 people were injured as a result of the earthquake. Limited supplies and facilities made it difficult to administer aid on the wounded. Many had to be amputated as a result from infections to save their lives.
Humanitarian efforts made by celebrities, companies, and charities have raised millions of dollars to assist the people of Haiti. Organizations such as the American Red Cross, The United Nations Fund, the Salvation Army, the International Rescue Committee and Wyclef Jean's Yele foundation have used technology to receive donations via cellular text messaging. This had proven to be the fastest method and the most unique to contribute.
The immediate effects of the earthquake maybe over, but there still is a great need for assistance. The best way to get involved is by donating goods and cash. Such efforts could save the lives of countless people that are in need of desperate attention.