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On Jan. 12, 2010, six miles beneath the earth and 10 miles south of the Haitian capital city of Port-au-Prince, the Enriquillo Fault awoke and began wreaking devastation on one of the poorest communities in the world, an almost perverse occurrence for a nation that has 80 percent of its population living under the poverty line, more than 50 percent in abject poverty. In other words, half the population doesn’t even have the hope of obtaining a better life.

News reports began to immediately convey the seriousness of the disaster soon after the shaking subsided along the strike-slip fault, a phenomenon that occurs when two parts of the earth’s crust slide past each other. But it wasn’t until the images and video interviews started flowing to the public that the sheer scope of the disaster came into the light of stark reality. The anguish was palpable, and the grief plain. Eight days later, early estimates of at least 200,000 dead seem likely to be realized, and the devastation is so comprehensive that it can only be compared in scope to the 2004 tsunami that killed 230,000 people in 14 countries in the Indian Ocean.

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