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Haiti Field Notes: Aftershock

IMG_9186a.jpgI was lying flat on the earth... with only a sleeping bag between me and the ground underneath. The ground was moving. Shifting. Shaking, in a wavy kind of way.
That would be disconcerting at the best of times. But here and now - in Port au Prince, barely a week after a massive 7.0 earthquake demolished much of the city - it was frightening. I did a quick inventory of the things above me. Tent. Flagpole. Three-storey glass and concrete embassy. The last one could be a problem... except just a few days ago, the ambassador told us that engineers had determined that this wall was by far the strongest wall in the whole building. I hope they are right.
As these thoughts are going through my head, the noise level on the street nearby is growing. People's voices. They're not shouting, or yelling or screaming. Just a chorus of tense voices, getting louder and louder.
The shaking subsides... so do the voices.
Here, all is well. But across the city, hundreds of houses that were already teetering have been nudged into rubble. More rubble... and quite probably, some more deaths.