Diary from Haiti: This isn't a city anymore... it used to be one

by Judith Kühl,  2010/01/23

She coordinates the journalistic work of the media representatives accompanying our team, arranges interviews, relieves the other coordinators and reports on the aid work by herself as in this “diary from Haiti”. Judith Kühl, reporting from a destroyed city, between hope and fear.

Saturday, 23rd of January 2010, 11am, local time

Some 25 German aid organizations have been working in the destroyed capital of Port-au-Prince and its surroundings after the disastrous earthquake hit Haiti. At regular intervals, their coordinators meet to discuss and plan the aid efforts coming from Germany. humedica also participates in these meetings.

The damage in Leogane is unimaginable. Foto: humedica/Judith Kühl

Today, we are planning to drive to Leogane, about an hour by car from Port-au-Prince. About 80-90 percent of the town was destroyed. Almost nothing was left standing. „You feel like in an open field. This is no city anymore. It used to be one“, says a journalist. She is right.

A German camp has taken charge of providing medical care, in cooperation with several other international organizations. Yesterday we had put up an outpatient clinic in our tent. At the embassy, where the meetings take place, we try to think of ways how to help this region both as single organizations and in cooperation with each other. In three days, we will meet again and then again, three days later. Further aid is thus being prepared while the first efforts have already been undertaken.

Saturday, 23rd of January 2010, 12:20 local time

The German embassy warns of strong aftershocks for the coming days. Data measured by geologists point to aftershocks that might have a magnitude up to 6,0. The magnitude of the first, devastating quake of this January, had been 7,0.

After the tsunami, we had hoped we would never have to see this again: Lonely children in a state of shock, standing in front of the ruins of their former home. Sadly, it’s the same about five years later in Haiti. Foto: humedica/Judith Kühl

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