Monday, January 18, 2010

Haiti Earthquake

I didn't know anything about Haiti and its history till I saw this Time magazine photogallery. Discovered by Christopher Columbus in the 15th century, Haiti was a Spanish Colony, and then a French colony till its independence in 1804. Even after its independence it took 186 years for the country to shed its despotic rulers, and hold a truly free and fair election! The earthquake is the third natural disaster haiti has faced in last six years... It's bloody through out. Check Haiti’s History of Misery

Time's gallery of exclusive pictures from Haiti has such graphic content that I decided not to post it here.

The pictures took me back to Jan 26, 2001 when Bhuj shook with a 7.6 Richter tremblor. I was then working with, and travelled there with the Outlook team of Punit Paranjpe and Manu Joseph from Mumbai, and Prashant Panjiar and Ranjit Bhushan from Delhi. I, Punit, and Ranjit stayed back in Ahmedabad, while Prashant and Manu travelled almost 250 odd km to Bhuj. I went to Bhuj two days later. The civil hospital in Bhuj looked exactly like the Presidential palace in Haiti - absolutely flat. Nearby villages like Bhachau, and Anjar were flattened completely. Everything in sight was flat.

It was a great dance of life and death. There was a young boy trapped in Anjar who kept his nerves for nearly 48 hours while rescuers tried to cut the concrete debris around him. He was eventually taken out alive, but lost either one or both his legs. Miracle stories of babies taken out alive after days, and rescued pregnant women delivering normal babies...

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