Another Earthquake 6.0 Shakes Haiti Again

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 01/20/2010 - 9:15am.

A STRONG aftershock measuring 6.0 magnitude hit Haiti today, eight days after a devastating earthquake shook the Caribbean country. The tremor struck 58 kms west of Port-au-Prince, according to the US Geological Survey, shaking buildings and sending people running into the streets. ~ Photos

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage but the quake caused panic in the capital, which was razed January 12 by a 7.0 magnitude quake, now thought to have killed upwards of 100,000 people.

Other developments...

For a solid week, Haitians prayed for deliverance first from the ravages of the massive January 12 earthquake, then from the looting, hunger and desperation that have overtaken Port-au-Prince since the disaster.

But the arrival of US paratroopers at Haiti's damaged General Hospital elicited a mixture of both joy and resentment among divided residents of the quake-ravaged Haitian capital.

Some residents said they welcomed the machine gun-toting American soldiers, dressed in full combat gear, who took control of the rubble-strewn main hospital.

"It's good that they've arrived here. They're soldiers, but there's no need to be afraid of them. They are here to help us," said Gregory Jeamblin, a man of about 40 years old.

But there was also grumbling and resentment over the arrival at the hospital of 100 or so troops from the US Army's 82nd Airborne division, who immediately after landing in Port-au-Prince, marched through the city's rubble-strewn streets and past its smashed businesses to take control of the hospital.

"Look at that - they're already telling us to leave," said Shelove Cassamager, 33, who said he had come to the hospital to tend an injured relative, but was unceremoniously shown the door by the US troops.

The US military forces were part of a global relief effort that gathered pace on Tuesday, one week after the disaster.

Meanwhile, US military helicopters also touched down yesterday on the grounds of the damaged presidential palace, dropping off more than 100 US marines - a deployment met with even greater ire on the part of many patriotic Haitians.

For many dejected Haitians, even as they welcome the prospect of vital aid, the arrival of US troops is a symbol for how low the country has fallen in the space of one dismal week.

And the US deployment was not welcomed by some in the crowd who saw the arrival as an affront to Haitian sovereignty.

"I haven't seen the Americans in the streets giving out water and food, but now they come to the palace," said Wilson Guillaume, as some of the homeless living rough in the Champ de Mars square before the palace shouted abuse.

"It's an occupation. The palace is our power, our face, our pride," said Feodor Desanges.

US officials said the troops are part of a mobilization that will involve more than 10,000 troops. They insist however that their presence was not meant to be seen as a show of military might, but a gesture of support.

"We are here to provide security to hospital. We work with the government of Haiti. There are rules of engagement, but we are here in humanitarian mission. They asked us to help them," said Sergeant Bill Smith.

As the US troops entered the hospital Haitians crowded around on the sidewalk to watch the procession, some cheering and other glumly silent.

Quickly and decisively, within minutes of their arrival at the hospital the soldiers established their command of the facility, ordering about 10 or so men to leave the building.

Inside the hospital the ill and injured watched the process as one soldier barked out orders to a thronging crowd to back up.

"They don't understand what you've saying," another soldier told his comrade.

The first soldier then instructed a local official in a loud voice, "Tell them to make way," as he tried to clear the entrance for ambulances and to allow patients in and out - an order which the compliant crowd quietly obeyed.

"I'm excited we are here to do good work for people," one of the uniformed soldiers said.


Deborah Pasmantier - January 20, 2010 - source TelegraphUK

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 01/20/2010 - 9:15am.