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Haitian Earthquake Victims, RIP

Earthquakes (and similar natural disasters) are never fun. But such calamities hurt more in poor countries than rich ones. There are typically only a few DIRECT deaths from the disaster itself (the quake, or say, drownings from Hurricane Katrina). But here's were the similarity ends.

In a country like America, relief is usually quicker and more expeditious than in a country like Haiti. That's because the "goverment" functions more smoothly, and in any event has more resources to prevent "followup" deaths.

What's more, fewer Americans are close to death than in a place like Haiti. In the latter country, many people were "barely" surviving, meaning that the disruption caused by the quake pushed them over the edge. A person can survive with no food for about thirty days, and most American victims of disaster will have the whole 30-day window. Not so for a Haitian who may have been on the twenty somethingth day on the day of the earthquake. That's why we append RIP to many earthquake victims.

As unfortunate as such people may be, they may be "fortunate" compared to many of the living, who have few hopes even in normal times, and whose lives have just been complicated by recent events.

There are many "Help Haiti" organizations being advertised over the web (although some may be scams). It may also be possible to help through one's church, or local civic organization.