10 years later: UN marks anniversary of devastating earthquake in Haiti

The United Nations is holding “somber commemorations” to mark the 10th anniversary of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010.

UN Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said that all UN staff have been invited to attend the ceremony on Sunday at the site of the Christopher Hotel, in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, which housed the UN peacekeeping mission’s headquarters.

Christopher Hotel Haiti earthquake

The building collapsed during the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit the French-speaking Caribbean country. 

About 220,00 people were reportedly killed, among them, 102 UN staff who lost their lives when the stabilization mission there, known as MINUSTAH, collapsed.

Image result for Miroslav Jenča Haiti

Some 300,000 people were injured and 1.5 million become homeless during the 35-second-long tremor.

Marking the 10-year anniversary of the tragedy, Guterres renewed the commitment of the United Nations to helping Haiti and its people build a better future.

Image result for haiti earthquake 2010

“On this day, we remember the hundreds of thousands of Haitians who lost their lives and the millions gravely affected by the devastating earthquake that struck their country ten years ago,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a video statement, also honouring the memory of the UN colleagues lost on that same day.

“We remember the hundreds of thousands of Haitians who lost their lives and the millions gravely affected by the devastating earthquake.”

— UN Secretary-General António Guterres

“My heart goes out to all those who lost family, friends and loved ones., the Secretary-General said, adding: “I will never forget the shock and sadness across the United Nations as we became aware of the scale of the tragedy.”

Image result for haiti earthquake 2010
The world remembers the devastation of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010 (Photo: National Geographic)

The UN chief said that over the past decade, Haiti has drawn on the resilience of its people and the support of its many friends to overcome this disaster.

“With the continued support of the international community, Haiti is striving to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including through strengthening the institutions that are so crucial to the wellbeing and prosperity of its people,” Guterres said.