“Who helps us? No one!”

The situation in haiti is chaotic, aid is stuttering, at least there are first satellite images

In haiti, it is still not clear what losses and damage the earthquake has caused. The capital, port-au-prince, is largely in shambles, with many dead bodies reported lying on the streets, and the smell of corpses spreading in the sweltering heat from collapsed homes.

Aerial view of the devastation in port-au-prince. Image: un photo/logan abassi

The haitian red cross estimates that 50.000 dead from. But it is also expected that up to 100.000 dead. Many injured cannot be treated. A state organization hardly exists anymore. The power supply has collapsed. The earthquake has definitively transformed haiti into a "failed state" transformed. Police, next to the military the last bastion of state order, no longer exist. Aid from international organizations begins, but people seem to feel abandoned, state vacuum will also make it difficult to organize aid effectively. Above all, people in the slums are left to fend for themselves.

Tent cities in port-au-prince. Image: un photo/logan abassi

The question is how long people will remain calm and not despair lead to more plunder and violence. The 3.000 un soldiers were barely able to contain the unrest. By the end of the weekend, the u.S. Wants 3.Deploy 000 troops to haiti to secure relief efforts. An aircraft carrier with helicopters is also to be used.

The supply of the people with food, especially with water and medicine is still insufficient – and was already insufficient before in the poverty-stricken country.. Unicef warns of second catastrophe from disease outbreak. 40-50 percent of the capital’s population are children and adolescents. Children die faster from lack of water, suffer more from blood loss.

A woman protects herself from the stench. Image: un photo/marco dormino

In the meantime, the aid has stalled because the airfield is overcrowded and can no longer be approached, and larger ships cannot dock in the destroyed harbor. The roads are often impassable because of the debris and the many people. The relief supplies stored at the airfield can therefore only be brought to the people with difficulty, even though the road from the airfield to the city has recently been made passable again. Problems are also caused by the fact that the communication possibilities are limited.

Therefore, the dominican republic becomes important to quickly bring aid to the country. It is a race against time – not only to rescue the victims, but also to treat the injured and supply the remaining people with drinking water.

In order to provide some overview, the international charter on space and major disasters has already provided the first high-resolution satellite images of the disaster area of port-au-prince free of charge to the authorities and relief organizations.

Satellite image of port-au-prince from the japanese satellite alos avnir-2

The initiative was founded for this purpose, in order to publish as quickly as possible satellite images of disaster areas, which allow to assess the situation as quickly as possible and to organize help logistically better and faster. In the case of port-au-prince, where many areas are difficult to access due to the damage, this is particularly important. Currently, the satellites alos (japan), spot-5 (cnes), worldview and quickbird (usa), radarsat-2 (canada) and ers-2 as well as esa’s envisat provide images. For example, dlr published satellite images before the earthquake. This allows to identify the damage and the worst areas.

Help for the victims of the earthquake in haiti

  • Aktion deutschland hilft (alliance of action medeor, adra, arbeiter-samariter-bund, care international deutschland, arbeiterwohlfahrt, johanniter-unfall-hilfe, malteser hilfsdienst, handicap international, help – hilfe zur selbsthilfe, paritatischer wohlfahrtsverband, world vision deutschland) online donation account 10 20 30 bank fur sozialwirtschaft bankleitzahl 370 205 00 password: disaster earthquake haiti
  • Bundnis entwicklung hilft (a coalition of brot fur die welt, medico international, misereor, terre des hommes and welthungerhilfe) online donations donation account 51 51 bank fur sozialwirtschaft bankleitzahl 370 205 00 password:
  • Arzte ohne grenzen german section (msf) account 97 0 97 bank fur sozialwirtschaft blz 370 205 00 keyword: earthquake haiti u.A.