Entries in Recovery (3)


Two Years After Quake, Haiti Has a Way to Go 

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Exactly two years ago on Thursday, a devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, leaving an estimated 316,000 people dead, another 300,000 injured and one million homeless.

Today, the country has made considerable progress in its recovery efforts, though much work still remains.

"People have access to clean drinkable water that they did not have prior to the earthquake, the schools are open, there are community sanitation facilities; so even in the poorest of neighborhoods that I was walking through today, you do see progress," David Meltzer, who's in Haiti with the Red Cross, tells ABC News.

Meltzer says more than anything else the Haitian people are in need of homes.

"Right now our focus of course is trying to get the remaining hundreds of thousands of people out from under those tarps and tents and into more permanent housing," he says. Haitians erected tent cities across the country after the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake left them homeless.

Many neighborhoods are also still blocked off by rubble, further delaying rebuilding.

"The rubble has to be broken up with a pick ax and then carried down the hill with a wheel barrow.  If you can imagine what that's like, you start seeing why it takes so long," Meltzer explains.

Yet, he notes that, "the good really does outweigh the negative," and reminds us that "recovery does take time."

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rescue Efforts End in New Zealand; Memorial Service Planned for Quake Victims

Photo Courtesy - Martin Hunter/Getty Images(CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand) -- Search and rescue teams looking for possible survivors of the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that rocked Christchurch, New Zealand last week will now shift their focus to recovery as the chances of finding someone alive have diminished, officials announced Thursday.

"We now face the reality that there is no chance that anyone could have survived this long, and efforts have to shift to the recovery of loved ones and their return to their families," Civil Defence Emergency Management National Controller John Hamilton said.  "As time has gone on, the chance of finding someone alive has diminished and, sadly, there becomes a point where the response effort shifts in focus from rescue to body recovery.  We have now reached that point."

Since the Feb. 22 earthquake, 60 people have been rescued from the wreckage, Hamilton said, but several dozen still remain missing.  The official death toll has now climbed to 161, but officials believe that number can go as high as 240 as more bodies are recovered from the rubble.

Following the announcement that rescue efforts will be converted to a recovery operation, Prime Minister John Key also said Thursday that a national memorial service will be held for victims of the quake in the upcoming weeks.

"At an appropriate time in the coming weeks we will hold a national memorial service in Christchurch to honour those who have died... but today is a day when we as a nation, along with our many friends around the world, mark with a heavy heart and great sadness this moment of unbearable loss for the many families involved," Key said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Secretary of State Clinton: There Is 'Growing Frustration' with Haitian Govt. at Pace of Recovery  

Photo Courtesy - U.S. State Department(QUEBEC, Canada) -- Speaking Monday in Canada, where she and her counterparts from Mexico and Canada discussed Haiti among other topics, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged the Haitian government to do more for the people there.
“We understand that the government itself was badly damaged, individuals were traumatized.  But there has to be a greater effort and there has to be a more focused approach toward problem solving,” she said.
Clinton was responding to a question about a threat from Senator Leahy to cut off U.S. aid to the Haitian government.
“I think Senator Leahy, who is a strong supporter of American foreign aid and humanitarian relief assistance, is expressing a growing frustration that you will find not only in Congress, but in our government and the American people, that as we’re approaching the one-year anniversary of the Haitian earthquake there hasn’t been the kind of coordinated, coherent response from the Government of Haiti that is called for,” she said, adding that Leahy’s frustration is “a very strong signal that we expect more and we’re looking for more.”

She said the Obama administration wants to push the Haitian government, but not to punish the Haitian people.
“We are trying to push forward in a difficult environment, and we want to see progress on the ground.  And we have supported the international approach toward sending technical experts.  We think that’s more important than political leaders.  We need to find technical experts who can delve into what happened in the election and try to create a transparent understanding that cannot only win the support of the international community, but most importantly the Haitian people,” she said, urging other countries to make good on their pledges to help Haiti.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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