Haiti's long-suffering people can't seem to catch a break.
Just as signs of recovery appeared after a series of destructive storms and years of political upheaval, the earthquake that pummeled Haiti Tuesday inflicted incalculable damage and killed or maimed thousands. Among the prominent victims is the Catholic archbishop of Port-au-Prince, Msgr. Joseph Serge Miot, found dead in the ruins of his office.
Entire neighborhoods are gone. Finding shelter for the destitute will be a major undertaking. The early Red Cross estimate is that the catastrophe affected three million people, roughly one of every three inhabitants.
This is one of the worst disasters to strike Haiti in the course of a long and tortured history. Even the once gleaming National Palace, a symbol of strength and resiliency in the face of calamity, collapsed. Streets once teeming with life and commerce have been turned into scenes of heartbreak as the walking wounded pick their way through the rubble and around the uncounted dead and dying.
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