The Dominican Republic Seals Its Borders

The Dominican Republic has closed its borders and stationed its military on all borders with Haiti.  Only medical emergencies are being allowed in to the Dominican Republic.  Most of the passes into the country are 4-8 hours from the impacted area in Haiti.  Because of destroyed infrastructure, the trip is now taking 10- 12 hours.

It was unclear about traffic going the other direction, from the Dominican Republic into Haiti as rescue crews begin to arrive.   There is no air traffic tower at the Port -au- Prince Airport in Haiti.  Landing is possible but crowded and risky.  The harbor is so damaged that ships cannot dock.  Looting has become rampant and buildings are simply too dangerous to enter.  There is a huge risk of disease.   Aid workers are camped at the airport.  The Red Cross office in Port-au-Prince has been destroyed. 

Should the Domincan Republic close its borders to earthquake victims and refugees?  Is this behavior un-humanitarian?  Can the Dominican Republic absorb that many people?  Ethical questions become more immediate in the wake of a national disaster.

UPDATE:  Audio of Washington Post reporter going to Port-au-Prince via the Dominican Republic:


Ways to Text Help Donate to Haiti Relief

Much is being done via new technology and social networking.  Information came out of Haiti minutes after the quake on Twitter and Facebook  mainly because of cell phone capabililties.  Now Americans can donate through their cell phones.

From myfox channel 5:

WASHINGTON – There are several organization that are responding to the urgent need to Haiti with mobile giving efforts allowing you to text to help.

The quickest way to provide monetary relief to those affected by the recent earthquake in Haiti is mobile giving. By texting a keyword to a designated short code via a mobile phone, a micro-donation of $5 or $10 can be made to aid the millions of people affected by this tragedy. 100% of your donation goes to the recipient charity, and the donation appears as a charge on your carrier bill, standard rates may apply.

Text the word “ Yele” to 501501 to donate $5
On behalf of the Yéle Foundation, the leading contributor to rebuilding Haiti founded by Wyclef Jean 

Text the word “ Haiti” to 85944 to donate $5
On behalf of the Rescue Union Mission and MedCorp International

Text the word “ Haiti” to 25383 to donate $5
On behalf of the Internal Rescue Committee

Text the word “ Haiti” to 90999 to donate $10
On behalf of the Red Cross in the U.S.