Haiti Suffers Aftershock of 6.0 on Richter Scale After Devastating Earthquake; Level of Damage Unknown
January 20, 2010 By Roque Planas
After suffering a devastating earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale last week, Haiti experienced an aftershock measuring 6.1 early this morning, the New York Times reports.
The aftershock terrified locals who feared a repeat of last week’s destruction, but the damage seems to have been relatively minor. The extent of the damage remains unknown.
Haitian President Rene Preval addressed reporters following the aftershock, but offered “few answers” to pressing questions about when aid — including water — would reach earthquake victims, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Preval spoke in the parking lot of a police station in Port-au-Prince, where he maintains his office now that the Presidential Palace and most major government buildings have collapsed.
With the Haitian government in tatters, thousands of U.S. soldiers have arrived to distribute aid and maintain order. The U.S. military has taken over the airport at Port-au-Prince and 4,000 more soldiers will be deployed today, bringing the total to 16,000 by the end of the week, according to the New York times.
The foreign military presence has prompted controversy in Haiti, which was occupied by the U.S. military from 1915 – 1934, though the New York Times reports that
with the government of President René Préval largely out of public view and the needs so huge, many Haitians are shunting aside their concerns about sovereignty and welcoming anybody willing to help — in camouflage or not.