Catastrophic situation in Haiti with unconfirmed reports of hundreds of thousands of deaths. The sheer magnitude of the Force 7.0 Earthquake was visible seconds after it struck at 16.53 in the enormous pile of dust settling over Port-au-Prince, witness to the collapse of thousands of buildings, literally swallowed up by the Earth. Yet what is amazing is the spirit of the people of Haiti.
Any attempt to contact the following hospitals (Hopital du Canape Vert , Hopital Maternite Sapiens, Hopital de l’Universite d’Etat d’Haiti , Hopital Saint Francois de Sales, Hopital OFATMA, Clinique de la Sante’, Hopital Francais d’Haiti ) meets a dead line and the official status (UNO) declared as “unknown”.
The scale of the devastation gives a chilling insight into the possible number of casualties: UNO building: destroyed. 115 to 200 foreign UN employees missing. Presidential palace: Destroyed. Government buildings: “Destroyed”. Entire hillside shanty towns: disappeared. Landslides. Tax Office: Collapsed. Penitentiary: Collapsed. Red Cross: 3 million people are affected. Parliament: Destroyed. Ministry of Finance: Destroyed. Ministry of Justice: Collapsed. Ministry of Labour: disappeared. Ministries of Culture and Communications: Severely damaged.
Haitian President Preval: “You have to see it to believe it. Lots of houses destroyed, hospitals, schools, personal homes – a lot of people in the street, dead.”
Jean-Max Bellerive, the Haiti Prime Minister, has already declared that the number of deaths could rise to well over 100.000, which according to some reports could be a conservative estimate.
The tremendous aftershocks (5.9 and 5.5 on the Richter scale) brought down what the original quake did not destroy in this city of three million people, a vast swathe of which has been razed to rubble. Hundreds of buildings are down and the number of people trapped under the rubble has yet to be calculated.
MTV Networks is working with George Clooney to stage a telethon for Haitian earthquake relief.
MTV spokesman Mark Jafar said Thursday that details are still being worked out.
There’s no word yet about other stars getting involved. But Clooney representative Stan Rosenfield said the actor is in the process of helping organize the telethon, which likely would air Jan. 22 on all MTV Networks — which include VH1, Comedy Central and CMT — as well as on ABC, NBC, HBO and CNN.
Thousands are feared dead after the massive earthquake, and the Caribbean island nation desperately needs aid.