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Disaster Victims

April 19, 2010 | By Barbara Demick
Chinese President Hu Jintao flew Sunday to the site of last week's earthquake on the Tibetan plateau, the latest effort to portray a government that is both compassionate and competent to a people who have made it clear at times that they don't want to be under Chinese rule. With the death toll rising sharply -- at latest count, 1,706 -- China's handling of the disaster relief is under close scrutiny. The pressure on China has been heightened by a request over the weekend by the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, to visit the area where the earthquake struck and pray for victims.
April 14, 2010 | By Barbara Demick
An earthquake that Chinese officials measured at magnitude 7.1 rocked a remote, mostly Tibetan-populated county in western China early Wednesday, killing at least 300 people and injuring 8,000, according to state television reports. The quake struck in Qinghai province about 20 miles from the county seat of Yushu, where it toppled houses, an elementary school and part of a Buddhist tower in a public park and seriously damaged the main hospital in town, officials told Chinese media.
April 14, 2010 | By Katherine Skiba
First Lady Michelle Obama arrived in Mexico City on Tuesday night after making a surprise detour to Haiti during her much-touted first official solo trip abroad. Obama stopped off at the impoverished Caribbean island nation to view the devastation left by a catastrophic earthquake Jan. 12. She was accompanied in Haiti by Jill Biden, the vice president's wife, before flying on her own to Mexico's capital for scheduled events Wednesday and Thursday. The trip to Haiti was not made public until the two women landed there because of concerns about security and crowd control, a White House official said.
April 11, 2010 | By Joe Mozingo
Relief organizations on Saturday began to move Haitians from tent camps that are in danger of flooding to new camps on the perimeter of the city, part of a larger plan to decentralize the population after January's devastating earthquake. After a heavy rain the night before, buses carried 62 people from a bedraggled camp on a defunct golf course to a barren field 10 miles northwest of the city. Aid workers helped Romaine Vincent Donal, 44, load her belongings in wheelbarrows.
March 21, 2010 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
When the first wave hit, Luis Gatica allowed himself a glimmer of hope: Maybe he, his wife and their 4-year-old daughter would survive. Clinging to a tree on a small island just offshore, they braced for the next surge of sea water bound to follow the magnitude 8.8 earthquake. The initial tsunami wave had reached only to his knees. "I thought for a moment that we were going to be spared, and we would have this story to tell when we were old," Gatica, a firefighter and paramedic, said days later in a barely audible monotone.
March 8, 2010 | By Daniel Hernandez
This capital city grappled with conflicting emotions over the weekend as Chile slowly recovers from one of the strongest earthquakes recorded: tears and jokes, dancing and chanting and a strong show of solidarity for victims in the most severely punished parts of the country. In crowded cafes, barbershops and even during a drag show in Santiago's bohemian Bellavista district, Chileans were using humor and a toughened cool to deal with life on a part of Earth that never quite wants to be still.
March 1, 2010 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
Along Jasmin Street in this capital's middle-class Villa Olimpica neighborhood, residents were packing up their belongings in trucks Sunday, hauling out furniture, clothing and keepsakes from damaged and unlivable apartments. Deep cracks and crooked balconies marred the 1960s-era three-story residential buildings along the quiet street, testament to the damage from the massive earthquake that struck Chile early Saturday, stunning the nation. "It's a lot to deal with, but at least we're all safe," said Carolina Jimenez, 32, a mother of two who was forced to flee her apartment as the quake struck, collapsing a wall and sending furniture flying, slightly injuring her 11-year-old daughter.
February 21, 2010 | By Mike Clary
Fifth-grader Madjany Mouscardy was playing a "Hannah Montana" computer game when the walls of the second-floor office in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where she sat began "shaking like a swing," she said. Moments later she had fallen into a hole and was buried in concrete. "I couldn't breathe. But I said to myself, 'Madjany, you are not going to die,' " recalled the lanky 11-year-old. "And then I started to lift the bricks off me until I could see blue sky." Sharing a classroom with Madjany at Silver Shores Elementary School, in Miramar, Fla., is Garvey Fils-Amie, who survived the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti because he was outside his house, doing homework with a tutor, when his world began to crumble.
February 2, 2010 | By Mitchell Landsberg
David Saill is 10 years old, and he came to school Monday in a freshly ironed shirt and baggy black slacks to reclaim a piece of his lost life. He couldn't have it all back. Not his home, which collapsed in the Jan. 12 earthquake. Not his very best friend, Laguer, who died when his own house fell on him. Not the sense of security he felt before he knew that the earth could shake apart his known universe. But school -- that he could have back. Or so he was told. Monday was the first day that schools in Haiti could reopen after the earthquake, which was centered near the capital, Port-au-Prince.
February 1, 2010 | By Mitchell Landsberg
Reporting from Petite Riviere De L'Artibonite, Haiti -- National Route 1, which cuts north along the Caribbean from Haiti's crumpled capital, barely deserves to be called a road in stretches, much less a national highway. Long sections are more potholed than paved, and for miles and miles the pavement disappears altogether and is replaced not so much by dirt as by rocks the size of mangoes. On this road, earthquake victims have fled Port-au-Prince by the tens of thousands.
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