Haiti is recovering, leader tells quake ceremony
PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) - Three years after a massive earthquake ravaged Haiti, President Michel Martelly said on Saturday the country was slowly rebuilding, despite the ongoing day-to-day misery of many survivors.
An estimated 250,000 people were killed in the January 12, 2010 earthquake. Hundreds of thousands are still living rough in squalid makeshift camps, and they now face rampant crime, a cholera outbreak and the occasional hurricane.
"I bow in memory of the victims. I can still hear the cries of pain from families who lost loved ones, but dry your tears," a visibly moved Mr Martelly said on the grounds of the presidential palace, which collapsed in the quake.
"Despite all the suffering, Haiti is recovering." Government ministers, officials and diplomats attended the somber memorial ceremony in the capital Port-au-Prince, at which a police siren rang out in honor of the dead. While the presidential palace had been reduced to a heap of stone and metal, "the flag remains aloft and proud," Mr Martelly said, vowing to rebuild his impoverished Caribbean country from the ground up.