Port-Au-Prince Damage after Earthquake

Stories of Earthquake Survival: Part 4

When we talk about earthquake preparedness, often we discuss strategies for escaping the immediate danger of the disaster, and surviving the aftershocks. We advise that you prepare for two weeks of self-sufficiency by constructing or purchasing a two-week kit for your household, and creating an emergency plan to go along with it.

But always, always, the impacts of disastrous earthquakes last much further into the future than we can possibly foresee. The 2010 earthquake in Haiti is one example of this. Approximately 100,000 children were orphaned by this devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake, and 220,000 people were killed. But in the midst of all of this sadness and catastrophe, stories of survival are like beacons of hope—stories like Kiki’s.

Kiki is an 8-year-old boy who lived in Port-Au-Prince and on January 12, 2010, he was buried beneath the rubble of his parents’ apartment, along with four of his siblings. He was buried for 8 days, and thought he would surely die.

When a neighbor heard his faint cry more than a week later, he was finally rescued by two firefighters, along with his 11-year-old sister Sabrina. Sadly, his three other siblings did not survive, so the victory was bittersweet.

Still, his parents chose to focus on the positive. As they continue to mourn the children they lost—along with so many other people who lost loved ones in the disaster—they are also filled with gratitude that Kiki and Sabrina survived. “It was a miracle,” said Kiki’s father. “God didn’t want us to lose all of our children.”

As Haiti continues to dig itself out of the rubble, Kiki is beginning to open up a little more about his hopes of becoming a mechanic or an engineer in the future, and maybe even helping rebuild his shattered country. It’s only with great resilience that families like Kiki’s are able to heal and re-establish their lives. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all individuals and families whose lives have been changed by earthquakes and other natural disasters.

For the full story on Kiki—in Reader’s Digest—see here.

 -Article contributed by Sophie Wooding – Avid gardener and cyclist in Victoria, BC and Content Writer for Frontier.io

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