Thursday, January 14, 2010

What's with the Earthquakes?

On January 9th, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck Eureka, Northern California. Thanks to retrofit building regulation codes, there wasn't any major damage. Buildings did not collapse, bridges were intact, and only minor injuries were reported. Although, 20 people out of a total population of 26,097 were displaced.

Last Tuesday, an earthquake hits Haiti with a magnitude of 7.0 on the richter scale. Haiti is devastated and in chaos. 100,000 or more presumed dead and buried under rubble. And thousands upon thousands are displaced and homeless. What is even more devastating is that Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere and do not have the means to rescue victims and rebuild.

As a native Californian, I can empathize. I experienced many earthquakes in my lifetime. I experienced the Loma Prieta earthquake in '89, 6.9 on the richter scale, not too far off from Haiti. And let me tell you, it was very scary! The earthquake in '89 was a reminder to us Californians that a big one can hit us at any time, and every tremor we felt from 1.0 and up was always a potential for "the big one" in the back of our minds. Before we'd just dismiss them, shrug it off and say, "Oh, well."

The only difference between Haitians and Californians is that Californians are prepared, our buildings are retrofitted, our roads have easy access to expert emergency and rescue crew, our water is hygienic and safe to drink, we have food, medicine, and temporary shelter available. HAITI DOES NOT!

I figure I can keep them in my thoughts and prayers but what good would that do? Well wishes sitting in my comfortable and safe computer chair won't help their situation which is what prompted me to donate to the redcross today.

If you're interested in lending a helping hand, here is a list of organizations accepting donations:

- InterAction has a list of agencies responding and how to donate to them. Find it here:http://www.interaction.org/crisis-list/earthquake-haiti

- To donate $10 to the American Red Cross, text Haiti to 90999. The amount will be added to your next phone bill. The organization is also accepting donations through its International Response Fund,http://www.redcross.org

- To donate $5 to Wyclef Jean's Haitian Yele charity, text 501501. The money will be added to your next phone bill.

- To find out how to help the International Rescue Committee, visit http://www.theIRC.org or call toll free, 1-877-REFUGEE.

- To donate through Oxfam's emergency appeal, visit: http://www.oxfam.org.uk

1 comment:

Martha said...

Excellent post and I think you expressed my thoughts so well and I thank you sincerely.
This is such a tragedy of incredible proportions we cannot even fathom.