The words below caught my breath.
"The disaster is the latest to befall the country of about 9 million people, roughly the size of Maryland. It is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and among the poorest in the world.
With people stripping the trees for fuel and to clear land for agriculture, the mountainous countryside has been heavily deforested. That has led to severe erosion and left Haitians vulnerable to massive landslides when heavy rains fall.
Hurricane Gordon killed more than 1,000 people in 1994, while Hurricane Georges killed more than 400 and destroyed the majority of the country's crops in 1998. And in 2004, Hurricane Jeanne killed more than 3,000 people as it passed north of Haiti, with most of the deaths in the northwestern city of Gonaives.
Gonaives was hit heavily again in 2008, when four tropical systems passed through.
In addition, a Haitian school collapsed in November 2008, killing more than 90 people and injuring 150 -- a disaster authorities blamed on poor construction.
Eighty percent of Haiti's population lives under the poverty line, according to the CIA World Factbook." -CNN report, Jan. 13 2010