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Haiti earthquake: Your stories Sunday 17 January

The delivery of aid to victims of Haiti's earthquake is still being slowed by bottlenecks according to aid workers.

BBC News website readers have been describing how the earthquake has affected them.

Yael Talleyrand, Jacmel, Haiti
People camping outside, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Saturday 16 January. Photo: Thomas Oronti
Many people are sleeping on the streets. Photo: Thomas Oronti

The huge problem about this awful situation is that no-one in Haiti realises how big this thing is.

This is because we have too much to worry about and guess what the future is going to be. There must be only one or two schools left in my hometown, the hospital is totally destroyed and many houses too.

There are corpses all over Port-au-Prince, refugee camps with no resources. There are thousands of people sleeping in the streets and many criminals were let free.

I've seen more horror in the last four days than in my entire life

We won't be able to live like that for more than a month. The situation is disgusting. There are people who want to take advantage of this tragedy by selling water and gas at much higher prices. That's so selfish.

Many of my friends and their parents have already left for the US or the Dominican Republic. It took us 200 years to get here, do we have to wait another 200 years now? And who's going to help rebuild all this if we all chicken out?

I wish it could just be a bad dream. I've seen more horror in the last four days than in my entire life.

Thomas Oronti, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

I and my fellow co-workers took relief food and water to Port-au-Prince on Saturday. We filled two SUVs [Sports Utility Vehicles] and one closed-door truck with food and water.

Aid being distributed to people in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Saturday 16 January. Photo: Thomas Oronti
Survivors urgently need food and water. Photo: Thomas Oronti

We had heard lots of rumours suggesting the border is closed, roads are impassable and there are riots. From our experience this just wasn't the case.

It took us only three-and-a-half hours to get to the Haitian border and an hour to get into Port-Au-Prince. The roads were mostly clear and travel was very straightforward.

We went to a refugee camp and the local police helped organise a queue. At first it was fine but as our supplies got low, the people queuing became restless.

I am surprised there weren't more people handing out aid

This was the scariest part of the trip. I was so glad we had followed advice and brought a closed door truck rather than an open pick-up.

We gave the rest of the supplies to some families who were living by the side of a pile of rubble that used to be their apartment. People have nowhere to go and are just staying by the ruins that were once their homes, salvaging whatever they can.

Apart from the slight unrest when handing out our aid, we didn't see any violence or looting. The people we saw were very grateful and I am just surprised that there weren't more people handing out aid.

The NGOs will eventually distribute their aid but they are taking too long and a direct response is needed now. The Haitian people need to know someone cares and at the moment no way near enough is being done to give out that message.

Alastair Cameron, British survivor now back in the UK

I was working for a bank - the International Finance Corporation - the non-government arm of the World Bank. I and a French lady colleague had left our office.

Haiti earthquake destruction, Saturday 16 January. Photo: Thomas Oronti
The Pan American Health Organization put the death toll at 50,000-100,000. Photo: Thomas Oronti

I was intending to go back to my apartment in the hotel. So we left the office early, but we had a last-minute meeting outside the office, which went on longer than expected and we were delayed.

Had we been in the office or in the hotel, we would have been dead. We were in the car when the earthquake happened. We were tossed around incredibly violently, buildings were falling down around us.

Initially I thought it was an explosion, all you could see was dust. It was like a giant was shaking the car; we were jerked up, down and sideways.

Natural disasters are tragic events but Haiti had the advantage of a huge number of UN personnel in position. They could have started to distribute food and water, but they did nothing.

I suspect that losing their administrative HQ may account for their lack of action but I find it hard to believe that senior officers at the many well-established bases could not have acted on their own and shown a little initiative.



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