Friday, January 15, 2010

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

by Dick Mac

I remember working in the kitchen of Brasserie 1300, in San Francisco in 1977, when a mild tremor struck the city. All the hanging pots and pans clanged against each other, one or two fell to the floor. We each found a doorway/door frame to stand in and the sensation passed as quickly as it came. We all laughed nervously and did our best to make light of the event.

I never admitted to the others that I was very scared.

Since that time there have been many horrific earthquakes around the world, including the 1989 San Francisco Earthquake that proved that a city can be well-designed to withstand strong tremors.

Most second-world and third-world cities do not have the benefit of earthquake-proof construction.

Port-au-Prince, Haiti, is one such city.

On Tuesday, an enormous earthquake flattened huge portions of the region, leaving thousands dead and injured and millions homeless.

President Obama acted swiftly and decisively in sending economic and military aid to our Caribbean neighbors, in stark contrast to his predecessor who was unable to send help to an American city in a timely manner after a massive flood.

The outpouring of good-will from around the world has been wonderful.

After emails, phone calls and conversations with friends, I am finally getting-up off a hundred bucks to send to Doctors Without Borders. Thank you to Mark, Kevin, Kim, and Beth for listening to my thoughts about Haiti and the disaster.

If you haven't donated yet, I urge you to go here and do so: Doctors Without Borders Haiti Earthquake Response

U.S. Geological Survey Preliminary Earthquake Report

Support Doctors Without Borders in Haiti

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