Jan 14, 2010 News
-PPP, PNCR, AFC express shock
As the world struggles to come to grips with news of the catastrophic damage and possibly thousands of death in Haiti as a result of a 7.0 earthquake Tuesday, Guyana says that it stands ready to assist.
President Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday pledged $200M for relief efforts and met with political parties and several Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to coordinate a national response to aid in the recovery effort.
“I was deeply shocked and saddened at the extent of the destruction caused by the catastrophic earthquake which devastated our sister nation of Haiti yesterday (Tuesday). The haunting images of bodies, injured persons and ruined buildings struck a chord of compassion throughout our nation for the people of Haiti,” the President said in a statement.
Haiti as the poorest country in the western hemisphere is now severely challenged to cope with this tragedy, the Head of State acknowledged.
“Haiti needs all countries, including the small developing countries, to come to its aid urgently.”
Meanwhile, the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), the Alliance For Change (AFC)
and the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) all expressed shock and sympathy at the events.
“The People’s National Congress Reform expresses its shock at the tragic events in Haiti as a result of the earthquake that occurred yesterday (Tuesday). The Party wishes to convey its sincere sympathy to the Government and people of Haiti, at this time,” the party said in a statement.
While all the details of the tragedy are yet to be disclosed, preliminary assessments suggest that there has been significant loss of lives as well as the destruction of infrastructure in the capital. “The Party’s Leader has been in discussion with President Jagdeo on a national response to the crisis and will support all initiatives by the Government and people of Guyana to assist the people of Haiti.”
The PNCR indicated that it would be taking part in discussion with the President during an emergency meeting at the Office of the President.
The AFC, in expressing its sympathy, noted that the situation is one of acute and widespread disaster. “Millions of citizens, and particularly children, have been rendered homeless and without food, medicine, water, and the basic amenities necessary to sustain life.”
The party noting that Haitians, already the poorest of Guyana’s Caribbean sisters and brothers, have now been visited with another devastating blow from which it will be difficult to recover unless “we all join hands in a united effort to give them our assistance”.
The AFC called on its members, supporters and Guyanese alike to extend prayers and support to the people of Haiti.
“The AFC is asking its members to assist its drive to make a contribution of money, clothing, and other relief supplies, to the Haiti Relief Fund that is being established.
“No contribution will be considered too small or insignificant. Donations can be made at the Party’s Georgetown Office at 77 Hadfield Street, Werk-en-Rust, Georgetown.”
The PPP, expressing shock, yesterday said that the images coming through speak about a disaster of major proportions.
“The People’s Progressive Party supports the efforts of the Government of Guyana in providing assistance to the suffering people of Haiti in their time of extreme disaster. The PPP will continue to monitor the situation and urge all Guyanese to do all that is possible to assist our sisters and brothers of Haiti.
“Our solidarity goes out to the government and people of our sister CARICOM state.”
Yesterday, Haiti’s consul general, Felix Augustin told the United Nations that “Port-au-Prince is flattened” after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Haitian capital, said Wednesday.
“More than 100,000 are dead,” Augustin told reporters.
The hospitals are gone, he added, and medical supplies and heavy equipment are desperately needed.
The Haitian prime minister said Wednesday several hundred thousand people might have died in the powerful earthquake.
“I hope that is not true, because I hope the people had the time to get out,” Jean-Max Bellerive told CNN.
“Because we have so [many] people on the streets right now, we don’t know exactly where they were living. But so many, so many buildings, so many neighbourhoods totally destroyed, and some neighborhoods we don’t even see people.”
Bellerive told CNN’s Gary Tuchman all of Port-au-Prince is either damaged or destroyed. He said the population is calm, and authorities are working to determine the scope of the destruction and reach a better conclusion on how many people were killed or injured.
Earlier, Haiti’s first lady, Elisabeth Debrosse Delatour, reported “most of Port-au-Prince is destroyed,” the Haitian ambassador to the United States, Raymond Joseph, said. He called the quake a “major catastrophe.”
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke of the collapse of “basic services such as water and electricity.”
About three million people — one-third of Haiti’s population — were affected by the quake, the Red Cross estimated. About 10 million people felt shaking from the earthquake, including two million who felt severe trembling, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated.
Edmond Mulet, the U.N. assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, told CNN that the National Penitentiary collapsed and the inmates escaped, prompting worries about looting by escapees.
Built in 1915, the prison was overcrowded. Enlarged to a total capacity of 1,200, it held 3,908 inmates in December, the U.S. State Department has said.
The powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday, centered about 10 miles (15 kilometers) southwest of Port-au-Prince, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. It could be felt strongly in eastern Cuba, more than 200 miles away.
The earthquake’s power matched that of several nuclear bombs, said Roger Searle, a professor of geophysics in the Earth Sciences Department at Durham University in England. He said the combination of its magnitude and geographical shallowness made it particularly dangerous.
The earthquake sheared huge slabs of concrete off structures and pancaked scores of them, trapping people inside those buildings, and knocking down phone and power lines.
Many buildings that remained standing were left open to the elements, pictures from the scene showed, and citizens were dusty from the concrete and in some cases bloody from their injuries.
“One woman, I could only see her head and the rest of her body was trapped under a block wall,” said Jonathan de la Durantaye, who drove through Port-au-Prince after the quake. “I think she was dead. She had blood coming out of her eyes and nose and ears.”
Dec 08, 2022– Uniforms unveiled for One Guyana President’s Cup By Rawle Toney Kaieteur News – President Irfaan Ali last evening doubled down on the Government of Guyana’s commitment to the...
Dec 08, 2022
Dec 08, 2022
Dec 08, 2022
Dec 08, 2022
Dec 07, 2022
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States of America... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]