January 20, 2010 17:00 ET

Haiti Update: Magnitude 6.1 Aftershock Rattles Haitians, but HUMANITARIAN COALITION's Operations Continue

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 20, 2010) - A powerful aftershock rocked Haiti this morning, reducing more buildings to rubble. The members of the HUMANITARIAN COALITION reported that their relief operations are continuing while aid workers on the ground prepare for increased numbers seeking help as emotionally distraught Haitians regroup for the upcoming night.

"There was a real rumble, and then the earth moved. It wasn't that long, but I can't tell. I was running," said Bodgan Dumitru, a Canadian on the CARE emergency team in Haiti. "We are next to a camp where displaced people are living, and when the quake hit a big scream came out of the camp. They've lost everything, all their houses, and they are terrified."

"We are working alongside our partners to stave off a second wave of disaster," said Oxfam Canada Executive Director, Robert Fox. "Despite the aftershocks, and the continuing challenges, we need to ensure everyone has access to clean, safe water to avert the risk of disease."

"Our teams were shaken by the morning aftershock that had repercussions all the way to Port-au-Prince. Everyone is fine, but the anxiety level was high this morning. I also learned that some of our buildings were affected, but it will not impact our efforts with the Haitian people. To this end, our operations will continue. For example, distribution of water supply to 12 000 people began at 11 am this morning," said Jean-Pierre Chicoine, special Envoy of Oxfam-Quebec in the field.

"Children and families are still sleeping in the open, among the rubble. They are very vulnerable - this aftershock would have terrified them. We are working flat out to assist them, bringing in supplies and rolling them out to the people who need them as fast as we can," said Annie Foster, Save the Children's team leader in Port-au-Prince.

The HUMANITARIAN COALITION, with the joint efforts of its members, CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Quebec and Save the Children Canada, provides a widespread and effective response to emergencies, with a combined presence in 120 countries. In Haiti alone, the HUMANITARIAN COALITION has more than 600 aid personnel on the ground, ensuring that the donations of Canadians reach those in desperate need in an efficient, effective and coordinated fashion.

To donate to the HUMANITARIAN COALITION, call 1-800-464-9154, visit or send donations to the HUMANITARIAN COALITION, PO Box 65035, Ottawa, ON, K2G 5Y3 /




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