A major earthquake struck Haiti last night causing massive damage and leaving perhaps hundreds of thousands dead in its wake. Reports indicate that many buildings have been destroyed, including at least one hospital and prison, and the headquarters for the UN relief mission in the country has collapsed, also killing, it’s believed, the chief of the UN mission. This will make matters of rescue and recovery even more difficult.
Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic (D.R.). In our recurring series, Harvest Journal, author Byron Holcomb writes about his efforts at running a coffee farm in the Dominican Republic and the tensions he’s noticed between the people of the two countries. No doubt the earthquake affected the D.R. too, but even more so it will exacerbate the pressures faced by the D.R. from its much poorer neighbor as both countries struggle to recover, and in the case of Haiti in the face of very long odds.
One further layer of tragedy here is that despite the many challenges faced by Haiti throughout the last decades (and really even longer than that), the country was really starting to show signs of progress. It was one of two countries in the Caribbean region to have projected economic growth this year.