Photo Credit: Associated Press
My heart is breaking as I'm watching all the Haiti coverage on TV.
I remember the 1994 Northridge Earthquake very clearly. I live in Northridge, and that earthquake was a 6.7 magnitude. I was about 6.5 years old and my younger sister was 2.5. She was crying nonstop, which I can't forget. My dad made us wear construction helmets (which he somehow had in his closet), and we all wore tennis shoes.
This may sound silly, but we hid under the kitchen table and prayed. My parents have a statue (about 2 feet tall) of Jesus in their room on a cabinet. And this was freaky, everything fell all over the place - it was a complete mess. But somehow, this Jesus statue landed on the floor, and was STILL standing upright...
Apparently, the Northridge earthquake was one of the costliest natural disasters in the U.S., costing over $20b in damage, including a collapsed freeway. There were 72 deaths, with over 9,000 injured.
And today, I'm looking at the Haiti earthquake, which was a little stronger than the Northridge earthquake (7.0). But Haiti is NOT California. It's the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Port-Au-Prince is the very densely populated capital. Apparently, it is reported that over 100,000 people have died. The whole city is destroyed - the Presidential Palace, the National Assembly building, the main Cathedral, among many other structures, are gone. Can you IMAGINE the White House being destroyed? It's unthinkable. It's unreal, I really can't believe it.
I know in situations like these, we feel helpless. We feel insulated in our location which has not been affected. It's so devastating, personal worries and concerns seem so inconsequential to a disaster like this...
CNN has compiled a good database of legitimate relief organizations and charities: http://cnn.com/impact
I am looking at organizations right now to donate a little bit.
And in case you haven't already, text "HAITI" to "90999" and a donation of $10 will be given to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts in Haiti. Please spread the word.
My thoughts, heart, and prayers go out to the victims of the Haiti earthquake, and to the first responders and those helping with the relief. I hope the organizations, volunteers, and the government can ensure that the aid/money/food etc goes directly to those in need.