Monday, January 20, 2014

When night falls, Haitian orphans tremble like the ground did

Four years ago, the earth shook in Haiti. It lasted less than a minute. By the time the trembling stopped, death had already begun.

Many were killed instantly, by collapsed buildings, oncoming cars, falling pipes, girders, walls. Others died in the days that followed, bleeding out, missing limbs. Some died while being carried to makeshift hospitals. Others died on blankets or old mattresses while awaiting treatment.

Disease and unsanitary conditions took more lives. Bodies were buried in mass graves. Some were tossed in dumps. Many remained for weeks beneath flattened buildings. Some were bulldozed away, leaving no remains for a casket, no grave site to visit.

When the dust settled, Haitian authorities estimated more than 300,000 were dead. That would be about 3 percent of the entire population.

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