Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'New York Post' slammed for publishing ISIS execution images

Read more

DEBATE

Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza conflict: 72-hour ceasefire deal sets stage for Cairo talks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

FOCUS

Spain's El Hierro to become world's first self-powered island

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

ENCORE!

Luc Besson back in action with Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy'

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Netanyahu compares Hamas to IS, Gaza offensive to continue

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • France’s ex-PM Juppé sets up presidential clash with Sarkozy

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande says global security ‘worst since 2001’

    Read more

  • France urges Iran, others in region, to join fight against IS

    Read more

  • A new view on Normandy landings, 70 years on

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

  • WWII anniversary highlights best - and worst - of Paris police

    Read more

  • Headscarf at the beach sparks French MEP’s fury

    Read more

Americas

One year after devastating quake, Haiti mourns the dead

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-01-12

January 12 marks the one-year anniversary of the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti that left 230,000 people dead and millions homeless. The country is grappling with an outbreak of cholera and widespread protests against recent presidential election results.

AFP - Haitians grieved for the nearly quarter of a million people wiped out in last year's earthquake, while praying for their beleaguered country to be given another chance.
              
Crowds were expected to attend a Catholic Mass at the ruined cathedral in the capital Port-au-Prince early Wednesday to pray for the more than 220,000 people killed almost instantly in the magnitude 7.0 quake on January 12, 2010.
              
The boisterous, often raucously noisy street life that typifies this Caribbean nation was to give way to somber reflection, with a minute of silence at 4:53 pm, the moment that disaster struck.
              
On Tuesday, officials and relatives of victims began commemorations by gathering at a mass grave on a windy hillside outside Port-au-Prince. President Rene Preval joined mourners who laid flowers and wreaths at the base of simple black crosses.
              
Later, religious leaders held prayers at the University of Notre Dame in Port-au-Prince. There had been "an earthquake of the heart," one priest said in his address. "Let the heart of the people never cease to beat for charity and liberty."
              
The ceremony was broadcast live on public television, which carried the words on the screen, written in Creole: "12 January 2010. 4h53. We will not forget you."
              
The anniversary finds Haiti barely healed from the trauma inflicted 12 months ago, as well as political instability over the holding of a runoff round in the elections to replace Preval.
              
The economy and infrastructure are crippled, a cholera outbreak continues to kill and more than 800,000 people live in squalid tent camps, according to a new official count. Rebuilding has hardly begun.
              
Former US president Bill Clinton, one of the main figures coordinating a massive international aid effort, arrived Tuesday to join ceremonies and said he was "frustrated" by the slow pace of reconstruction.
              
He also called on the government "to resolve" the election standoff.
              
However, he did say he was "encouraged" that after repeated delays in organizing the flow of aid money and the implementation of promised projects, "we are doing much better."
              
The UN, meanwhile, said that Haiti's recovery would be an "absolute priority" for the world body in 2011. US President Barack Obama took up the call, urging the international community to "fulfill the pledges it has made."
              
The huge tasks here include clearing rubble, moving people out of tents and back into houses, halting widespread environmental degradation, and rebuilding an education system that currently provides schooling to less than half of all children.
              
One of the immediate concerns is a cholera outbreak that has so far claimed 3,759 lives, according to the latest Haitian government update, and sickened thousands more. The World Health Organization said Tuesday that the "peak has not been reached," although the death rate was slowing.
              
The most overriding issue to resolve though will be the stalemate in holding a second round in the presidential election to replace Preval.
              
International monitors from the Organization of American States (OAS) are due to issue a report with non-binding recommendations to Preval on how to move ahead with the runoff.
              
According to a leaked draft of the report, the OAS is calling on Preval's favored successor, Jude Celestin, to drop out from the runoff round because of fraud.
              
Celestin would give up his place to the previously third placed candidate, singer Michel Martelly, who would then face Mirlande Manigat, a former first lady who won the most votes in the first round.
              
The switch, if confirmed, would be a blow to Preval, who is due to leave power and had been hoping to see his ally take over.
              
Some observers fear Haitians could face a renewal of rioting that claimed five lives after last month's announcement of preliminary results.
              
However, Preval has said he will only discuss the report once anniversary commemorations are over.

 

Date created : 2011-01-12

COMMENT(S)