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In aftermath of earthquake, eyewitness tweets from Haiti

Categories: Caribbean, Haiti, Breaking News, Citizen Media, Disaster

As a result of the catastrophic 7.0 earthquake that hit the island country this evening [1] (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 [2], who tweets as @RAMHaiti [3]. Morse posted his initial tweet [4] 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. [5]

lot's of rumors about which buildings were toppled..The Castel Haiti behind the Oloffson is a pile of rubble..it was 8 stories high [6]

Our guests are sitting out in the driveway.. no serious damage here at the Oloffson but many large buildings nearby have collapsed [7]

I'm told that parts of the Palace have collapsed..the UNIBANK here on Rue Capois has collapsed [8]

people are bringing people by on stretchers [9]

Port au Prince is dark except for a few fires [10]

A huge hospital that was being built across from the Oloffson has collapsed [11]

cars are starting to circulate..I see lights in the distance towards the wharf [12]

Later, Morse re-tweeted [13] @isabelleMORSE, who reported “ much destruction on Grand Rue (Ave Dessalines) Daniel Morel's ok. Police Sta, Cathedral, Downtown teleco, Church St Anne all destroyed [13]“.

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

Phones are starting to work..got a call from some one who's house fell in, child is hurt but ok. . [14]A few people showing up @ Oloffson..roads are blocked by falling walls..much destruction on Grand Rue. I hear hospital General has collapsed [15]

people are needing medical supplies..food, housing; I don't know water situation; [16]

Then, around 7:45pm:

another aftershock..people are screaming and freaking out down towards the stadium..much singing and praying in large numbers [17]

And at around 8:40pm Haiti time:

another aftershock..a little longer..much screaming downtown..this is going to be a long night [18]

Also proliferating on Twitter are citizen photos of the destruction such as the ones below, reportedly [19] sent to Twitter user @marvinady [20] by journalist Carel Pedre [21] of Haiti's Radio One.

haiti_quake1 [22]

haiti_quake2 [23]

@LisandroSuero [24] has also posted photos [25] of the destruction, including the one below:

haiti3 [26]

Global Voices’ Special Coverage Page on the earthquake in Haiti is here [27].