“It felt like 10 seconds combined with three years,” is how Jay Cherry, who along with his wife volunteers at an orphanage in Haiti, described the initial shaking that began at 4:52 p.m. (EST) on Tuesday when a 7.3-magnitude earthquake began five miles under water off the coast of the impoverished Caribbean nation.
Messailler, where Cherry lives and works, is a 45-minute drive from Port-au-Prince, the capital and currently the focus of attention for much of the devastating quake damage. There, the country’s presidential palace, many government buildings, Notre Dame Cathedral, largest hospital, and largest hotel have all collapsed. Haitian prime minister Jean-Max Bellerive said he expects “well over 100,000” casualties, while leading Sen. Youri Latorture told the Associated Press that 500,000 could be dead, based on initial assessments of the destruction.
Among those trapped inside the Parliament building but still alive was the president of the Haitian Senate, Kely Bastien. Catholic archbishop of Port-au-Prince, Joseph Serge Miot, 63, was found dead in the ruins of his office, AP reported.
In Messailler, Cherry and his wife were on a walk with a group of orphans when the ground began to shake. “This has got to be the biggest tractor/train/pack of rhinos in the world,” he thought. “And then the shaking earth threw me. And kids fell. I actually developed tunnel vision and all my surroundings disappeared.”
Used by permission from World Magazine. For more, read here.