On Wednesday, Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry laid a wreath at the Saint-Christophe Memorial in Port-au-Prince to remember 316,000 victims of the 7,0 magnitude earthquake, which shook the country in 2010.
“Today, we continue to weep our deaths and heal our wounds from this catastrophe. May God gives us better times,” Henry stated. An ecumenical service was also held mid-day at the National Palace to pay tribute to the victims.
Police and Army officials emphasized the need to prepare the population and adopt preventive measures to limit the number of casualties in case of future disasters. “Jan. 12 is a date that reminds the importance of working together to build a better future for Haiti,” they insisted.
Henry supported their statements, recalling that the State must accompany the population in this process. “Meeting this objective will not be easy since we need first to create stability throughout the national territory,” he said during the ecumenical service, implicitly referring to the wave of violence and kidnappings caused by Port-au-Prince gangs.
CW: Haiti earthquake
A friend took photos the night of Jan 12, 2010. Most are too graphic to share. But I want to share this one, because it shows what almost no foreign media showed: almost everyone who was rescued in the aftermath – including me – was saved by ordinary people. pic.twitter.com/rMveOhcHSM
— Laura Wagner (@TiLauraRose)
January 12, 2022
“Armed groups should end indiscriminate violence against the population, who deserve to live in peace and well-being,” Henry highlighted. At the request of the Government, Haitian flags flew at half-mast, discotheques and other entertainment establishments were closed, and radio and television stations adapted their programming during the day.
Victims’ relatives also placed some flowers, candles, cups of coffee, and pieces of bread at the graves of their loved ones in the Port-au-Prince cemetery, in which they also celebrated a short mass with cemetery employees.
The Haitian 2010 quake, the deadliest earthshaking in contemporary history, left economic losses valued at US$4.4 billion. It destroyed 60 percent of medical facilities and public buildings, most of which are still not rebuilt.