Major aftershock hits Haiti
Baptist Global Response
January 20, 2010

Major aftershock hits Haiti

Major aftershock hits Haiti
Baptist Global Response
January 20, 2010

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The five-member BGR assessment team is on

the ground in Haiti, driving toward Port-au-Prince. They are accompanied by

Mark Rutledge, who has 26 years of experience serving as an International

Mission Board worker in Haiti. The team will be connecting with Haitian Baptist

leaders, surveying earthquake damage, and delivering relief supplies.

A strong aftershock measuring 6.1 in magnitude struck

Port-au-Prince at 6:03 a.m., Jan. 20, according to news reports. The shock sent

people scrambling for open ground as buildings damaged by last week’s quake

shuddered and rubble began falling to the ground. Eyewitnesses said people

already traumatized by the horrors of the past week cried and screamed at the

new tremor. More than 40 significant aftershocks have hit since the Jan. 12


Members of the assessment team reported they did not feel

the aftershock at their base in the Dominican Republic. However, Steve Leach, a

member of Round Grove Baptist Church in Miller, Mo., who operates an

independent hospital in northwest Haiti, reported the aftershock “brought down

some of the damaged buildings that were still standing and will keep anyone

from going back to what buildings are still standing for many days to

come. With so many severe aftershocks over the last week and now another

new quake, who knows when people who have a place to go will feel safe to

return there.”

Leach said about 1,200 refugees have come to the hospital

for treatment and he has been sending trucks into the capital to look for

survivors with family who live near the hospital.

“We live in a place that is about as far from the capital as

you can get and still be in Haiti and yet we have watched these very poor

people trying desperately to figure out a way to get their family members out

here so they can take care of them,” Leach said. “The truck drivers are less

and less willing to (drive into the city) as the situation in Port


Relief efforts are struggling to get essential relief

supplies to hundreds of thousands of desperate people, but destroyed infrastructure

and disorganization are hampering the effort. Officials are concerned that the

desperation people feel will boil over into violence. Looters by the hundreds

have been fighting each other with broken bottles, clubs and other weapons over

whatever goods they can still find in damaged stores.

“Pray specifically for God to give those in control wisdom

to direct the relief effort,” Leach said.

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