Haiti remembers devastation caused by earthquake nine years ago

Saturday, January 12, 2019

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PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) — Haiti is commemorating the ninth anniversary of the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 250,000 people and left more than a million homeless.

Secretary General of the Presidency, Jean Hilbert Lebrun, said that three years ago, a decree had been announced declaring January 12, a day of remembrance and reflection dedicated to the memory of the victims of the earthquake that devastated the country on January 12, 2010 at 4:53:10 pm.

He said as a result, the national flag will be lowered, discos and other similar institutions will remain closed and radio and television stations are invited to undertake suitable programming for the day.

The United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) is staging two commemorative ceremonies including one on the former site of the United Nations Stablisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) where 96 UN peacekeepers were killed.

The earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.0 delivered a severe blow to the country's already shaky economy and infrastructure.

In a statement, the European Union said as part of the commemoration of the earthquake, the EU along with its member states in Haiti — Germany, Spain, France and Great Britain — “salute the memory of the victims and reaffirm their solidarity with their families, the entire population and the Haitian State.

“On this day, the European Union is keen to join the national day of reflection and awareness of Haiti's vulnerability to risks and disasters,” it said, noting that nine years later it is the responsibility of all the actors, citizens and friends of Haiti to maintain the collective mobilisation to minimise the loss of life and material destruction during future disasters.

“This is the best tribute we can pay to the victims of January 12, 2010 by ensuring that their sacrifice is not in vain and tomorrow will save lives,” the EU added.

The Haitian Mission in Canada said “nine years of mourning and resistance, nothing overcomes our singular ability to love and thank life,” as it recalled the thousands of people killed during the strong earthquake.

“Nine years later, while the country still struggles under the weight of natural disasters, the Haitian people strive to seek life with a determination that continues to inspire and move the planet,” it said, inviting Haitian nationals to attend a commemoration ceremony “dedicated to all those who have lived from near and far this terrible drama”.

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