The Earthquake in Haiti

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

On January 12, 2010, the deadliest earthquake in the history of the Western Hemisphere struck Haiti. Jonathan M. Katz, the only full-time American news correspondent in Haiti, was inside his house when it the earthquake occurred, and he writes of the terror of that day, the devastation ordinary Haitians experienced, and the monumental—yet he says misbegotten—rescue effort that followed in The Big Truck That Went By.  


Jonathan M. Katz

Comments [14]


I miss you, Leonard. Not the same.

Jan. 09 2013 07:22 PM

my question was "do you know how many times the USA has invaded Haiti since 1804? "

Jan. 09 2013 04:41 PM
jgarbuz from Queens


Oh, yeah, blame America again. So what did we steal from Haiti?Did we take all these Haitians in America as captive slaves? Jeez!

Jan. 09 2013 01:30 PM

do you know how many times the USA has invaded Haiti?
that key fact might "shed some light" that you seak

Jan. 09 2013 12:45 PM
minny from NYC

Mr. Katz's assertion that the Red Cross 'have very few staff on the ground' is absurd. The national RC team is very large and present in most parts of the country. Is he suggesting that only the expats count in a disaster response?

Jan. 09 2013 12:42 PM
Christine from Westchester

So what's the answer? How does he think the citizens of the US can effect sweeping change in a place that is not our country? It would seem that without the government and the people of Haiti effecting change, it's not going to happen because Suburbanites in NY lend a hand.

Jan. 09 2013 12:39 PM
Gary from Long Island

Haiti is as close to hopeless as any place in the world due to exploitation for two centuries. Henry Louis Gates did a series on PBS called Black in Latin America and looked at Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the problems go back to the time President Jefferson was President and punished Haiti for the slave rebellion and progresses to the present. The country is now run by street gangs and corruption. Hopeless. In addition, they have deforested the nation adding to flood problems and other environmental problems. Close to lost cause as any where, sad situation.

Jan. 09 2013 12:38 PM
Bud Plautz from New York, N.Y.

Could Mr. Katz comment on why there seems to be a day and night difference economically between Haiti and the Domincan Republic. It would seem that two countries, so close together, would have the same resources, and benefit mutually and be in about the same economic shape. What historical and political events have caused the differences?

Jan. 09 2013 12:31 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Independent Haiti came about from a successful slave revolt against the French to become the first independent black states in the New World, and one of the first in the entire world. So after this glorious beginning, what happened? Why haven't the Haitian people been able to create a viable, flourishing state? Is it because the slaves originally came from different African tribes or nation, and were not able to forge a common sense of peoplehood? I know there were many obstacles placed in front of them, but still there must be some deep underlying reason why Haiti did not become one of the most prosperous, rather than one of the least in Hemisphere. Can the author shed some light?

Jan. 09 2013 12:28 PM

What about Sean Penn....good work or just PR?

Jan. 09 2013 12:27 PM
antonio from baySide

Can the guest respond to the impact the US, France, IMF impact on Haiti's current or historical state.

Or the impact of race and class?

Jan. 09 2013 12:26 PM
fuva from harlemworld

A recounting of the history of Haiti that begins in the 80s is pointless.

Jan. 09 2013 12:26 PM
Anonymous from Brooklyn, NY

Paul Farmer (of Partners in Health) and others have recently published accounts of the terrible devastation of the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti and its aftermath and why Haiti has not built back more/better to date. What do you think about the accusation that UN/MINUSTA troops from Nepal were to cause for the Cholera outbreak in Haiti and their responsibility to Haitians who have lost their lives due to Cholera? Reparations asked for include a building of a water treatment system. What are your thoughts?

Jan. 09 2013 12:25 PM
Tony from Canarsie

There are several Haitian newspapers in the US and Canada which have correspondents in Haiti.

Jan. 09 2013 12:16 PM

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