The Trauma Lines Blog

Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists

Haiti: One Year Later

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The Los Angeles Times summarizes the state of the country of Haiti — one year after the devastating earthquake — perfectly:

“The trauma remains fresh for survivors of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake.”

During a national day of reflection in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, it’s apparent just how fresh the mental anguish remains in the minds of Haitians. In a display of mourning and remembrance, thousands of Haitians walked for miles to religious centers — some on crutches, some missing limbs, nearly all were crying.

A lot can change in a few weeks, let alone a year. Here in the Northeast portion of the U.S., multiple feet of snow have fallen just within the last few weeks. While traveling is disrupted for a few days, and people are forced to leave for work earlier than they’re used to, the snow melts and things eventually return to normal.

Unfortunately in Haiti, where granted, the magnitude 7.0 earthquake was a far greater natural disaster than any snowstorm the U.S. has ever seen, little to nothing has returned to normal:

A few yards away, Daphne Delva was washing her 2-year-old son Jefferson on the curb, in front of the tent where she and 10 other people have lived for a year.

“I thought by now they would have moved us,” she said as she lathered the tiny boy. “You can never be at peace. Anything can happen at any time. They fight, they throw rocks.” She pointed to holes ripped in the tent.

Delva’s tent faces the compound that contained the presidential palace, a white-domed structure crumpled in the quake.

I’m sure as the years go by, this date will always be honored, at least partially, in remembrance of those who lost their lives in that quake. But today, one year later, the trauma, the heartache, the mourning is still very fresh, still very real.

Written by traumalines

January 12, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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  1. […] most-recent example of this was the massive earthquake in Haiti over a year ago. People remain displaced, jobs remain lost, grieving continues and the stresses and […]

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