Search and rescue operations in response to the Petionville school collapse have concluded and there are no more survivors. In the Miami Herald article below, Jacqueline Charles notes that 89 individuals were killed and 150 survived, although many were badly injured. Thank you to Martinique, France, the United States and other countries that contributed equipment, search and rescue teams, or financial support. For the families, the mourning process begins. For the Haitian government, the pressure is on as they try to develop a strategy for preventing a similar tragedy from happening again. Nationwide school inspections would be a good start.
Some emergencies can be predicted. Every hurricane season, we can anticipate that Haiti will likely be hit with tropical storms. Others such as the collapse of a school in Petionville yesterday are unexpected tragedies. The community was, as is usually the case, the first to respond. They tried to remove as much of the rubble as possible but were hampered by a lack of heavy equipment. Search and rescue operations continued through the night and casualties now stand at 75. According to President Preval, shoddy construction practices could result in other collapses. Below is an AP article by Jonathan Katz on the situation.
According to the Haiti Xchange site, the Haitian government announced the opening of a newly constructed marketplace on Route des Freres in Petionville. The idea is to reduce some of the congestion in Petionville, once one of Haiti's most polished neighborhoods. I like the boisterous street symphony of everday life, but Petionville is overflowing with street merchants. Giving them a safe, clean place to sell their goods seems a sensible move - provided they can get the licenses required to do so and that taxes are not excessive.