The Haitian calamity

January 21, 2010
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Lynn City Hall has organized itself to be of aid to the city’s Haitian population by giving outreach to those who are living here and then providing as well access to charitable and humanitarian groups.

Nearly all of us who live here and who call this place our home, have been moved and horrified at the same time by the drama that has unfolded with the Haitian earthquake catastrophe.

There are so many millions without homes, water, food or basic shelter that a simple beginning is near to impossible until aid gets organized.

The effort to save those trapped under tons of concrete is a near impossible task.

Also near to impossible is to provide the most basic medical care to so many hundreds of thousands who are injured. Dispensing medical care isn’t like giving out food and water.

The entire city of Port au Prince has been leveled.

Perhaps 100,000 people have died. Thousands more are going to die unless they receive medical care immediately and then receive follow-up medical care in a timely basis.

In addition, the large groups of people living in open spaces in the city squares – 50,000 in some squares – have no toilets or running water. Eventually, with all those people using open spaces as public bathrooms, disease is sure to follow.

The gargantuan problem is to provide housing for something like nearly 3 million men, women and children who have lost their homes, and to provide basics of every kind including food.

But where do you start?

The world, led by a major effort by the United States, has begun with a commitment to raise money, to house and feed the homeless, to provide medical care and ultimately, to rebuild Haiti.

This must be done.

Why?

Because someday we might find ourselves in the same position – rocked by an earthquake that takes everything from us.

The Haitian crisis could just as easily be our own if this city and our region were rocked by a 7.0 Richter Scale earthquake.

In that realization, it is incumbent on all of us to do what we can to relieve the pain and suffering of the Haitian people.

By helping them, we help ourselves and the community of man.

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