Saturday, January 23

Haiti Switches from Search and Rescue to Recovery Phase

The Haiti Government announced that they will now be suspending the search and rescue efforts across the nation. The emphasis will now switch to the recovery of bodies as the span of time that has passed since the first quake, measuring 7.0 hit the small island nation ten days ago.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said international teams had rescued a total of 132 people from the rubble through there combined efforts. Countless others were saved by citizens of Haiti with out the aid of heavy machinery.

Many of the people who were found alive and dug out from the collapsed buildings and ruble that litter the country did not survive the wait for medical attention.

The Haitian government has confirmed more than 110,000 deaths. The final death toll is still expected to reach 200,000 as the days and weeks go on.

Now former residents of the cities that lay in rubble are moving to new homes. Temporary homes being put up in make shift tent cities outside of the original areas and further from possible harm if the remaining building may come down in future aftershocks that may yet hit the island. Tents are the shelter of choice as the collapse of a tent upon it's occupants will do little to no damage.

The tent cities however have little to no water, medicine, food or sanitation. Illness and disease will spread like wild fire throughout the survivors if the shortages in these areas are not address quickly.

The head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Dr. Rajiv Shah, will be making a return trip to Haiti today to review the ground efforts to assist the victims.

The U.S. Defense Department says by Sunday there will be 20,000 U.S. military personnel taking part in relief efforts in Haiti.

After this traumatic event that has impacted so many of the Haitian people, I would expect that new and aggressive building codes will be put in place by demand of the people of Haiti. Even if those rules and regulations are put in place, it may take even longer to get the citizens to trust there homes and buildings again.

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