Haiti remembers the terrible earthquake which on 12 January changed the face of a city and took over 212,000 lives.
Yesterday 12 February, 30 days after the earthquake was observed as a day of mourning, of fasting and prayer for the victims. It was promoted by the Government and supported by various religious and civic bodies. Life in the devastated city came to a stand-still. Even the local markets set up after the quake and with very few provisions were deserted.
People dressed in white congregated near the churches which were unfit to enter. A Mass was celebrated in the square near the devastated Cathedral. Hymns and prayers filled the streets and in some places drowned out all other city noises. At the end, with great dignity, the people who were fortunate still to have one went home, others returned to their tents, if they had been lucky enough to get one, or in the poorer districts to the remaining hovels.
From above Port-au-Prince seems a city like so many others. Closer to the ground one begins to make out the grey piles of rubble and the multi-coloured official tent-sites or those improvised with any kind of material available.
The removal of the rubble is still progressing, and will certainly require much more time. The ruins of houses, Government buildings, monuments all seem to tell their own story of suffering, sorrow and the agony of those who have found death under them, or have lost loved ones because of them or have seen destroyed with them what little they had. Countless the stories of those who by chance, coincidence or good fortune died or survived.
A large city, a huge tragedy, an impressive rescue and relief operation which, in spite of the commitment and non-stop work of those engaged, still does not seem to have reaches all the corners of Port-au-Price. A country which seemed not to notice the recent great economic crisis … only because it had been living with it for years!
Haiti ought to be at the heart of the world for a long time! Perhaps the other countries, especially those in the developed west, should stop every “12” of the month to remember this people.
Source: Info ANS