Haiti Earthquake: Technology enhances awareness and help – also magnifies poverty

January 14, 2010

by Michael Cerkas

Amazingly, most of the world became aware of the devastating

magnitude 7.0 earthquake that hit Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, January 12th, 2010 in the late afternoon, literally minutes after the actual event occurred.  Indeed, the planet has shrunk at the hands of technology.   Information about this disaster was and is continuously being communicated and shared by several active technologies; programs everyone uses on a daily basis, yet without the realization of the impact they have on events like this.

The internet and related applications have pervasively become a part of everyday life for millions of people all over the world.  Twitter has empowered anyone with a cellphone to effortlessly broadcast and receive information, ortweets, to other people in nearly real-time.  News sources including CNN andFoxNews have been airing coverage of the earthquake non-stop since it took place late Tuesday afternoon.

Images are being posted to FacebookGoogle and BingFlickr and PhotoBucketVideo coverage is being uploaded to YouTubeVimeo and other sites.  Emails are being sent across the globe to communicate information about theearthquake.  People are using Skype to talk about the disaster.  Together, these technologies efficiently and competently serve and benefit us daily in our lives and our businesses.  What they simply are unable to accomplish, however, much to our chagrin, is the ability to directly provide help to the people of disasters like the one in Haiti.  As advanced as society has become, all the technology in the world can not replace or hasten the physical work, preparation, travel, application of knowledge and skills, and assembly of people to directly and physically assist others in emergency situations.

Below is an amateur video capturing the Presidential Palace shortly after the earthquake took place in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.

Unintentionally, this stream of technology has likewise delivered to us the reality of just how contrasted the world is in which we live.   The distance from Miami, FL to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti may only be 700 miles, however, the difference in standard of living, poverty, wages, health, transportation, education and technology is as expansive as the Milky Way Galaxy.  That is the paradox of humanity in the world today; the challenge for every nation, community, government, family and individual to overcome.

For a list of alternatives to donate directly to aid and recovery efforts, visit the links below:  edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2007/impact/



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