www.whyville.net Jan 24, 2010 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Earthquake Heartbreak: Haiti

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On January 12, 2010, a catastrophic earthquake hit the Caribbean island of Haiti. It was the worst earthquake Haiti has had in 200 years. This devastating earthquake had a magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter Scale. There was major damage done to Port-au-Prince, the capital city; the many schools, finance buildings, and public offices also have varying damage. There was a lot of damage done to the control tower at Toussaint Le'Ouverture Airport, as well as a major seaport in Port-au-Prince.

The Haiti Interior Minister has estimated there may be as many as 200,000 deaths as a result of the earthquake. It is believed that a number of public officials are among the casualties, and three U.N officials were killed in the earthquake as well. The earthquake affected many places in and surrounding Haiti, such as Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Les Cayes, Haiti; Cap-Haitien, Haiti; and Miami, Florida. The initial earthquake was followed by thirteen aftershocks with magnitudes greater than 5.0 on the Richter Scale. On January 20, 2010, 8 days after the earthquake, the largest after shock, having a magnitude of 5.9, hit Haiti, just 35 miles shy of Port-au-Prince.

There have been many actions taken to help with recovery in Haiti. Many have been by current and former public officials. Among these are Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, and President Obama. The International Red Cross and the Salvation Army have helped by gathering supplies and delivering them to Haiti. Haiti's neighbor, the Dominican Republic, has sent food, bottled water, and machinery to aid in the removal of rubble from the streets of Haiti.

So, what can I do, you ask? Well actually, it isn't too hard. Don't worry, to help out, you don't have to jet out to the country of Haiti itself. There are many things you can do right at home. You could always donate to UNICEF or CARE by going to http://google.com/relief/haitiearthquake/. Or you could donate to the Red Cross via text-message (if you text-message, of course) by SMS texting "HAITI" to 99909, and by doing this, you'll automatically donate $10 to the Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti. But make sure to ask your parents for permission before you donate any money to the relief funds. Or, if your school is having a donation of money/supplies to deliver to Haiti, taking place in that will surely help; if your school doesn't have a relief fund (or supply drive) for Haiti Relief yet, start your own! You could always get a group of friends together (with a teacher or administrator) or you could get in touch with any school programs that help the community, and start a relief effort for your school. There are many things you can do to help the people in Haiti that really need your help the most right now!

I hope you'll take my advice and donate/help in any possible way, because it's not a want . . . it's a need.

Author's Note: Sources: http://google.com/relief/haitiearthquake/


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