Day 6, 2nd day in Port-au-Prince

Our first night in a tent city was very interesting.  A rooster in a far-off tent city would crow. This would evoke a respond from another rooster in another tent city and so on until our local fellow would add his voice.  This crowing would last a few minutes, then cease, then repeat itself again about 10 minutes later – all night long.  Dogs would then get in the act, though they seemed less organized.  And finally, prayer and song began around 4 am, before the sunrise. This city is alive through the night.

One of our colleagues Alcidor drove us around Port-au-Prince today to view the effects of the earthquake.   There is no way to properly describe the level of destruction and havoc that the earthquake has caused (see pictures below).  It will be months before this city and many of those that perished will be dug out.  Yet the city is alive and vibrant. They are coping and hopeful and getting on with their lives.  As the pictures also show, the markets and street vendors are as active as ever.  We saw no signs of any trouble, nor have heard of any during the day.  The night is different. Nobody goes out at night. Even from their tent cities, which are everywhere, the Haitian people are remarkably resilient and optimistic.  We also saw virtually no foreign presence other than an occasional US or UN personnel.  We saw no distribution centers and no food or supplies in trucks moving anywhere – though we could have missed them.  Our friends in the tent city that are here at the Bureau of Mines tell us that they have been given water and medical help, but no food, and are not aware of any distribution centers.  We have heard that food is stuck in the airport and seaside port, but the means to bring it in does not exist, though we cannot confirm this.

Upon returning to our base we spent the afternoon showing our Haitian colleagues who will join us in the field how to set up the GPS receivers. Then we set up our first receiver nearby and began recording data.  Tomorrow morning we split into 3 teams.  Sarah and Andy will head north, Estelle and Glen will head south and west, and Eric will stay around Port-au-Prince.  We plan on making measurements for approximately 2 weeks, covering the entire country.



  1. Jacques et Jeanne OLLU Said:

    pour Eric et ton équipe,

    votre blog est très impressionnant. On est loin d’imaginer le désastre en Haïti, mais cette population nous donne une leçon de courage et d’optimisme dans la vie!
    Nous vous suivrons sur internet de Lesconil.(France)
    Beaucoup de courage à vous dans vos études sur le terrain.
    Jacky et Jeanne

  2. Bellzie Said:

    I was just wondering and hoping that Ing. Claude Prepetit was part of your Haitian team?

    • haitigps Said:

      Yes. Claude is part of our team, but he has been busy doing other things. In fact, I have yet to meet him, but I hope to do so in the near future.


  3. Thank you for your work. We are very proud of all of you.

  4. Jerry Cook Said:

    Is there a river in PaP?

  5. Jerry Cook Said:

    We are hoping you are doing well(: We were wondering a few things :
    Do you see the people who were devastated by the earthquake or are you in your own camp farther away?
    Have you made any friends with the kids that you met there? 😀
    Are the kids in Haiti going to school?
    And the last one, are the kids there interested in what you are doing?

    The seventh grade(:

  6. Garry Hayes Said:

    Thanks for putting together a blog about your research and your visit, especially the pictures. It is a good thing to see something of the situation in Haiti that isn’t shaded by a network’s desire to keep ratings high. I’ve linked to your blog (as has Lee at Arizona Geology). Keep up the good work!

  7. Jerry Cook Said:

    Hello Friends!

    Hope you are doing well! We were wondering if it is hard to see all of the mass destruction? Have you made any new-found Haitian friends? Do they speak understandable English??

    Feel free to let us know!!! 🙂


    The Lovely 7th Grade Science Class!

  8. […] Magma Cum Laude says I’ll nominate some more Haiti-related stories: first, an entry from the NSF Geophysicists in Haiti blog, which is a great chance to see what geologists are doing to help people recover from the recent […]

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