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Waking up to aftershocks—and prayers

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A ruined building on the road to Port-au-Prince. Photo: Liz Lucas / Oxfam America
A ruined building on the road to Port-au-Prince. Photo: Liz Lucas / Oxfam America

Oxfam’s Coco McCabe is one of several Boston-based colleagues in Haiti to help with the relief effort, where they join over 200 Oxfam staff already on the ground. Here’s her latest update, from the morning of January 20.

Started the morning with an aftershock that registered 6.1 on the Richter scale—severely rattling the nerves of everyone. It was dark and I was coming down the stairs of the house where we’re staying, about a 40-minute drive outside of the capital. There was a low rumbling, and a side door swung open. I thought it was the wind. But when I got to the kitchen, the owner of the house had her arms up, praying to Jesus, sweat beaded on her forehead. Her young son sat silently, and hunched, at the far end of the kitchen table. My colleague, Kenny, said he had seen the walls in the kitchen waving. But the house still stands.

Everywhere we’ve been this morning, word of the tremor is the first thing out of people’s mouths. The fear is palpable. As we drive by some of the temporary tent camps that have cropped up around the city, expressions on people’s faces are grim. When will this end, I imagine they are asking themselves. When will people feel safe again?

Save lives now by donating to Oxfam’s Haiti Earthquake Response Fund. Learn more about how Oxfam is responding.

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