In aftermath of earthquake, eyewitness tweets from Haiti

As a result of the catastrophic 7.0 earthquake that hit the island country this evening (January 12), “Haiti” is currently a trending topic on Twitter. Among the mass of retweets of mainstream media reports and tweets sending prayers and good wishes to the Caribbean island nation, have been eyewitness reports from musician and hotelier Richard Morse, who tweets as @RAMHaiti. Morse posted his initial tweet around 6:00pm Haiti time, reporting that:

were ok at the oloffson [the hotel he runs] ..internet is on !! no phones ! hope all are okay..alot of big building in PAP [Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital city] are down !

A series of tweets sent an hour later reported:

Just about all the lights are out in Port au Prince.. people still screaming but the noise is dying as darkness sets.

lot's of rumors about which buildings were toppled..The Castel Haiti behind the Oloffson is a pile of was 8 stories high

Our guests are sitting out in the driveway.. no serious damage here at the Oloffson but many large buildings nearby have collapsed

I'm told that parts of the Palace have collapsed..the UNIBANK here on Rue Capois has collapsed

people are bringing people by on stretchers

Port au Prince is dark except for a few fires

A huge hospital that was being built across from the Oloffson has collapsed

cars are starting to circulate..I see lights in the distance towards the wharf

Later, Morse re-tweeted @isabelleMORSE, who reported “ much destruction on Grand Rue (Ave Dessalines) Daniel Morel's ok. Police Sta, Cathedral, Downtown teleco, Church St Anne all destroyed“.

Just after 7:30pm Haiti time, Morse wrote that:

Phones are starting to a call from some one who's house fell in, child is hurt but ok. .A few people showing up @ Oloffson..roads are blocked by falling walls..much destruction on Grand Rue. I hear hospital General has collapsed

people are needing medical, housing; I don't know water situation;

Then, around 7:45pm:

another aftershock..people are screaming and freaking out down towards the stadium..much singing and praying in large numbers

And at around 8:40pm Haiti time:

another aftershock..a little longer..much screaming downtown..this is going to be a long night

Also proliferating on Twitter are citizen photos of the destruction such as the ones below, reportedly sent to Twitter user @marvinady by journalist Carel Pedre of Haiti's Radio One.



@LisandroSuero has also posted photos of the destruction, including the one below:


Global Voices’ Special Coverage Page on the earthquake in Haiti is here.


  • […] updates.  As Andrew Sullivan posted on his blog early this morning, Haiti does have Twitter.  Global Voice Online has been posting some of these eyewitness tweets from the earthquake.  Further, YouTube is with […]

  • […] Popplewell, Global Voices’s managing director and pioneering Caribbean blogger, has been rounding up tweets coming from Haiti on our site. Some of the tweets include photos that show the intensity of the […]

  • […] Popplewell, Global Voices’s managing director and pioneering Caribbean blogger, has been rounding up tweets coming from Haiti on our site. Some of the tweets include photos that show the intensity of the […]

  • […] citizen media and the earthquake in Haiti. As he writes there, Global Voices has a posted “a compilation of tweets and photos and a digest of what bloggers in Haiti and throughout the Caribbean are […]

  • Donna Matney

    I am looking for information on Deborah and Sarah Privert, their parents and sister, Vicky.

  • Two web sites collecting queries from people looking for family and friends in Haiti: and CNN’s iReport

    • Donna Matney

      Deborah, Sarah and their family are safe. Relatives received a facebook message from Sarah.

      Thanks to Georgia for the tip about the website!

  • […] emerged as the fastest, most time sensitive vehicle through which to report on the catastrophe; Facebook was also full of wall comments on the […]

  • Claudia

    Any updates on survivors of UNIBANK on Rue Capois. We had word that my friend Christine Legagneur, a bank employee was trapped under rubble and needed help.

  • Monica Flynn

    I would like to know why the people, especially the women and children are not taken out and away from this devastation, with the help of the UN, by using helicopters, planes, etc. When emergency supplies are brought in, via planes, these empty planes then fly out. Why not gather as many people as possible and take them to a safer, neighbouring island or anywhere where they can be taken care off. I don’t understand why all the people are left on the island when they could be taken to somewhere where they are able to recieve food, shelter and medical attention. I am feeling rather puzzled about the whole situation, and don’t understand why the people of the island are not helped in a more constructive form. I am writing this feeling quite angry and with an amount of frustration. My heart and prayers go out to everyone affected by this devastation and I hope that something positive can be achieved through all this.

  • jennifer foxworthy

    Any news about the compassion grand verde school ?

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