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Haiti: Le Cap Haitien sends some news

Wednesday January 13th: The day after the terrible 7.0 earthquake which has left Haiti in an undefinable situation, Radio Kiskeya announces the persistence of the communication challenges [Fr] the island is facing:

Aucune station de radio ni de télévision n’est disponible en Haïti ce matin. Le local de Radio Kiskeya est endommagé. Le système téléphonique est hors service.

No radio nor TV station is available in Haiti this morning. Radio Kiskeya's office has suffered damages. The telephone network is out of order.

However, the Haitian blog from Le Cap Haitien, le Réseau Citadelle has been able to publish news as early as Tuesday 12th, when the disaster happened. Here is the reply given by the blogger to someone worrying about the situation [Fr]:

Nous attendons des nouvelles de Port-au-Prince. C'est le pays tout entier qui souffre de la situation à la capitale. Chaque famille à au moins un parent à Port-au-Prince et les nouvelles sont très mauvaises.

We are expecting news from Port-au-Prince. The whole country is suffering from what is happening in the capital city. Each family has at least one relative in Port-au-Prince and news is not good.

Early in the morning, Le Réseau Citadelle publishes a post entitled “Nouvelle depuis Carrefour” (News from Carrefour), in which a man called Patrick Jean Baptiste talks about the situation in this poor neighborhood of Port-au-Prince:

Grande désolation à Carrefour, plusieurs maisons effondrées dont des bâtiments publics comme le Collège Catherine Flon.

Great devastation in Carrefour, several houses collapsed, among which public buildings like Collège Catherine Flon.

He shows evidence of the hard time people are having to communicate – even in areas which would not be that distant otherwise:

Elles tentent même de joindre leurs proches dans d'autres quartiers de Port-au-prince, sans succès en raison des problèmes de communication. Ce qui ajoute à leurs inquiétudes déjà grandes.

They [inhabitants of Carrefour] are trying to get in touch with their relatives in other neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince, without success, given the communication issues. This situation adds to the already great concerns.

Patrick Jean Baptiste also expresses an understandable eagerness to see things move forward:

Il serait temps de tout faire pour rétablir les liaisons téléphoniques et faire parvenir de l'aide à Carrefour qui est gravement touchée.

It is high time to do everything possible to fix the telephone network and bring assistance to Carrefour which was severely hit.

In the early morning, Réseau Citadelle also published a stream of the first photos taken in Port-au-Prince.

Later on Wednesday, the blogger publishes the testimony of an inhabitant of Pétionville/Delmas, named Alexandre, whose conclusion sums up the situation clearly [Fr]:

On doit avoir les nerfs très solides pour assister au peu que j'ai vu.

People must have very strong nerves to witness the little I have seen.

Apparently, Alexandre has been walking around the place, trying to find some friends and he says [Fr]:

Jusqu'a présent pas de nouvelles de Michel Guerrier qui était coincé dans le building de la Dinasa au bas de delmas, ils étaient 8 a y être coincés, six ont pu être dégagés, a 2h am Michel et un autre étaient toujours coincés à l'intérieur et communiquaient par coups avec les sauveteurs.

So far, no news from Michel Guerrier who was stuck in the Dinasa building, down Delmas. There were 8 of them stuck there, 6 were released. At 2 a.m, Michel and someone else were still stuck inside and would communicate with the rescuers by hitting.

However, he shares some reassuring information:

Le centre de Pétion- Ville n'a pas subi de grand dommages, presqu'intact à part quelques maisons. Galerie Rivoli et d'autres immeubles semblent intacts.

The center of Pétionville has suffered little damage, it is almost intact except for few houses. Galerie Rivoli and other buildings seem to be intact.

Finally, later that day, Réseau Citadelle relayed a doctor's suggestion to take care of the victims of the earthquake in other hospitals of the island instead of waiting on international humanitarian assistance [Fr]:

Envoyez les blessés dans le nord et dans tous les autres centres disponibles. Nous sommes prêts à les servir. Je pense que la majorité des médecins de ce pays pensent la même chose que moi. Nous avons été formés dans ce pays, par les ressources de ce pays, donnez nous les médicaments et les matériels nécessaires pour que nous puissions servir.

Send the wounded people up north and to all the other available health centers. We are ready to take care of them. I think that most doctors in this country think just like me. We have been trained in this country, with the resources available in this country. Give us the necessary medicines and tools so that we can help.

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

3 comments

  • Heather

    Do you know if there was damage in Cap-Haitien?

  • I’m sorry Heather, I have been trying to get in touch with the blogger from Cap Haïtien, without any success but he keeps updating though.

  • sheryl

    Pastor Lubin has a church/school that my family supports in Cap Haitien. Can you determine if they are well? We get no news from that area and are uncertain. Thank you for any info you may gather.

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