News from Gibbs, a human rights activist in Haiti (www.rnddh.org)
"I’m okay but things are not good at all here. I was at work when it happened—at work at RNDDH [the human rights organization, www.rnddh.org]. The office itself wasn’t damaged. My wife was at our house with her niece. My wife was in the living room and our neice [who lives with us] was in the kitchen when the earthquake happened. My niece started to run—she’d never been in a situation like this and she ran out into the street. When she was almost in front of the gate, the neighbor’s house fell on her. The neighbor’s roof and a wall crushed her head. She died right there. This happened in an area they call Diquini 63, in Carrefour [on the western outskirts of the Port-au-Prince area—closer to the earthquake epicenter]. Her name is Ismaella. She was eight years old. She is our godchild. I’m in shock. The morgues cannot take any more bodies so Ismaella’s family and I had no choice but to bury her quickly.
"My wife is okay. We’re sleeping like everyone else—in the street. When there are aftershocks and even when there aren’t we’re sleeping in the street.
"Our neighbor’s house is destroyed. Our house wasn’t destroyed but we can’t get into it—all the rubble from the neighbor’s house blocks us from getting in. There is a lot of damage in our neighborhood. There are more than 100 houses that are demolished. A lot of people died. I don’t have the exact numbers but there could be around 500 people who died in the neighborhood.
"We’re temporarily living in an area called Brochette where my wife has family. We’re eating together in a small community of my wife’s family.
"It is a terrible situation we’re in. It shouldn’t be this way. Things aren’t working like we’d like them to. I’m at the RNDDH office now. I had to walk here on foot to get here. This isn’t right. There is no transportation. It took me two hours to walk here. To get back to my house, it will be the same thing.
"Keep us up-to-date on how the fundraising goes. We’re waiting to hear from you."