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While Chile, Japan and California constantly experience tremors and earthquakes, plate activity in the Caribbean rarely happens. Memories of past Caribbean earthquakes fade over the generations. Because of the historical research Iâ€™ve undertaken, Iâ€™ve long expected the earthquake that rocked Haiti on January 12. Of course, I had no idea that it would occur in my lifetime, and I wasnâ€™t expecting that it would strike southern Haiti and Port-au-Prince. What made me anticipate this one was my photography of the remnants of the 1842 quake that almost destroyed the northern Haitian city of Cap Haitien.
When I saw photographs of the ruins the National Palace in Port-au-Prince, I was immediately reminded an older Haitian palace almost destroyed. The Sans Souci Palace was a casualty of the 1842 quake.
On a mountain top above the Sans Souci, is the fortress Citadelle Henry, a subject of a previous blog post. Despite its six to sixteen thick walls, the Citadelle is scarred with a long fissure from 1842. Most of the floors of its main battery crumbled as well.
Now, most homes and buildings I knew in Port-au-Prince are wrecks, and so gone is most of its history: the National Palace, the National Cathedral and countless artifacts that were part of Haitiâ€™s story. The Haitian people have had to survive and rebuild many times from tragedy, and I still have hope that from this tragedy, among Haitiâ€™s greatest, a great opportunity arises for all Haitians.
I hope you will join me in supporting efforts to provide relief and redemption to the people of Haiti. Here are two organizations Iâ€™m supporting:
-The Albert Schweitzer Hospital has served Haitians for over 70 years and Iâ€™ve long known of their good work: http://www.hashaiti.org/
-In my native home of Hertford County, North Carolina, the local Habitat for Humanity chapter, like many other Habitat chapters, is raising money to build a new earthquake-resistant house in Haiti. Usually, one home provides shelter for one family and many relatives. Send your check to Habitat for Humanity, c/o Dennis Deloatch, 107 Ahoskie-Cofield Road, Ahoskie, NC 27922.
Posted by: marvinbright