In Leogane, the epicentre of last Tuesday’s quake, all but erased, survivors have begun rebuilding, with recycled material.
Military estimates of the dead in this one town some 20km west of Port-au-Prince are in the tens of thousands. The wounded are still not counted. A modern, medically advanced city would be overwhelmed to treat the victims swiftly. But there are next to no structures left standing in Leogane. And even before all the drama, the hospitals are said to have barely functioned. Help has only arrived slowly, by land and sea.
Euronews’s Luis Carballo reported on the scarcity of all sorts of supplies: “Ninety percent of the homes here are destroyed. Things are very difficult for the inhabitants. But you can get petrol at a better price and quantity than in Port au Prince.”
Fuel prices have doubled and there are long queues.
Fresh produce is starting to be sold in the streets again, and charcoal, but not much, and many people cannot afford it. Accounts in damaged banks are out of reach.
A local rescuer said “The worst, really, isn’t a destroyed house. It’s to be trapped underneath. I spent last night trying to save some of them here. We may have got three children out alive. The worst feeling of impotence is hearing a child cry for help for hours and you’re there with your bare hands and can’t do anything.”