Thursday, March 18, 2010

O'Brien On Haiti and Chile Disasters

Soledad O'Brien, speaking recently at an event at Holy Name Medical Center in NJ, compared the devastation in Haiti and Chile following the earthquakes there. After covering both of these disasters on the ground in the past month, she feels the difference between the two disasters is apparent.

"I think in a lot of ways Chile is just much better positioned to withstand a massive earthquake. Even though theirs was significantly larger than the one in Haiti, it's all about the structures. Haiti has really poor physical structures: concrete cement, very sandy texture, a lot of limestone and built by hand. But in Chile, we did our live shots in front of a building in Conception that had fallen (completely sideways) and at last count 8 people had died and 79 walked away. That's how a structure can make a difference in how catastrophic an earthquake can be.

This can be a wonderful opportunity for people who give money to help this country that's just off of our coastline. Haiti had hundreds of thousands of orphans before the earthquake. Haiti had an unemployment rate of 85 percent before the earthquake, so the world has to decide whether to say, 'Well, bummer for you,' or to say, 'This is an opportunity to invest and make all these dollars that come in make a difference.'"


Post a Comment