Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Haiti, Part 5: An Aftershock and an Update

Continued from Part 4...

There was a strong aftershock registering 6.1 on the Richter Scale at 6:03am this morning centered about 35 miles west of Port-au-Prince. The town of Leogane – where the Ste. Trinite School has a summer music camp – is about 29 miles west of the capital. So far, I've seen nothing about further damage though it could certainly have done nothing to ease the minds and spirits of the survivors still waiting for help.

This article in yesterday's Washington Post is a reminder that while the much needed aid effort is focused on Port-au-Prince, destruction is spread over a much wider area: in Leogane, a popular tourist destination in Haiti, five hundred nuns, priests and students were crushed to death when the Ste Rose de Lima School there collapsed. What new damage and new sorrow may this new quake, this largest aftershock so far, have brought to this town?

According to this map, showing the epicenter of this latest aftershock, Leogane is in the “violently” affected area hit by the new quake; Port-au-Prince and, to the south the coastal town of Jacmel, in the “very strongly” affected area.

The director of the Ste. Trinite Music School, Pere David Cesar, was quoted on the “Haiti Music Schools Earthquake” page at Facebook earlier today:

“Our staff and students with the exception of two losses are alive by a miracle. Jean Francois Alzinor, age 21, principal Alto of Les Petits Chanteurs died at the University he attended. ‘Alzinor’ participated in the tours of 2006, 2007 and 2008. Mdm Lahens, recently hired to be in charge of discipline, also died, but not at Holy Trinity. Nicole St Victor was dizzy and in shock but she was not injured. Many students and staff from the Trade School died when the destruction came. We lost all of our instruments. Salle St. Cecile, the only Concert Hall in the country, was also destroyed.

“If we are alive, we believe God has a special mission for us. We do not know why and how we are alive because how were we able to get out of the building when we were on the third floor when the entire building collapsed? Now the time is to rebuild the Music School and Concert Hall and get music back to life in order to show the future of Haiti. Thank you for all your prayers and thoughts of us. May God bless us all.”

Tonight, one of the organizers of that page, Janet Anthony, who has worked tirelessly to inform us of the events and the aftermath of last week's earthquake in Haiti, is involved in a “Concert for Haiti” at Lawrence University where she teaches in Appleton WI. The two hour program will be streamed on-line here, beginning at 7pm CST.

I hope you will be able to join them in spirit and in support.

And this word from one of the students from Ste. Trinite: Eder let us know "For those who worry about Jeanne, don't worry she ok. I cannot give you more info but i know she is fine."

Continued - with a report of good news!

- Dr. Dick

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