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Commentary: Quake shatters dreams, lives

By Aurora J. Casimpan Tacloban City (15 January) -- The earthquake which shattered Haiti should serve as a wake-up call not only to this poor Caribbean nation but to all developing nations as well.

National disasters such as an earthquake with a magnitude tremor of 7.0 up may well be expected to bring down buildings but not as easily crumpling almost all structures. At least not if the construction of most structures were in keeping with approved standards.

Haiti's buildings were headed for major damage since the collapse of a school in Petionville. According to the Mayor of Port-an-Prince about 60% of buildings were shoddily built and unsafe in normal circumstances. It took an earthquake the magnitude tremor of 7.0 for the buildings to come tumbling down like they were built by matchsticks.

Since the country's creation in 1804 after a successful plane slave rebellion the country has been beset by unrest following people's dissatisfaction with its leaders. The effect in the country's political instability are a desperately poor people with leaders uncaring on following construction standard of structures.

History would show that countries whose buildings get wrecked by an earthquake are poor and are categorized as developing nations. Earthquakes will never pause to bypass its trail of destruction just because a country does not care to put up buildings which can withstand its fury.

The history of violence and terror on Haiti and its people both natural and man made will always impact on the poor. The same can be said of other poor countries.

Developed nations should show their sincere effort to help out not through aids given out during calamities but in empowering people through political and economic sustainability.

International aid would always be given and recipients of such aid would always be grateful but for how long will the aid last?

Until the next earthquake or disaster strike?

People of poor countries lying along earthquake fault lines should know better than to wait for the next tremor. Its time to look for leaders sincere and dedicated in protecting its people even against a national disaster like an-earthquake. (PIA-8) [top]

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