UN chief urges nations to consider deploying forces to help Haiti
By The Associated Press Published March 25, 2010
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Haiti is facing a new disaster after the collapse of a massive statue of Jesus Christ. The country’s military has declared a state of emergency and is deploying to Port-au-Prince to help the nation.
The U.S. mission in Haiti called for the U.S. embassy to be closed for the day. The U.N. mission said the U.N. chief, Ban Ki-moon, called the countries responsible for the loss and damage to the statue “and urged nations to consider deploying forces to support the affected country,” the Associated Press reported.
Local authorities say the collapse occurred Friday when workers tried to move the statue to its eventual resting place next to the city church.
After a second try, the workers say they realized they could not move it the same way, and the statue collapsed in a cloud of dust. Port-au-Prince has a history of heavy storms.
The incident happened a day after the U.N. chief urged nations to consider deploying forces to help fight the country’s devastating earthquake.
He said the “staggering scale” of the disaster was such that it could overwhelm the best efforts of rescue workers “to rebuild.”
Haiti’s civil defense director, Col. Jean-Claude Bonaventure, told the AP he didn’t have a clear picture of the cause of the collapse. But two local construction groups that specialize in moving large objects said they are sure that the statue wasn’t damaged.
“It was a total, complete collapse, there’s no doubt in my mind there was no water seeping in where the statue fell,” said Yves Bambru, who heads the group that builds the city’s iconic Christ The King statue.
The Associated Press
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