The nation of Haiti is roughly equal to an area stretching from Sandpoint south to Moscow/Pullman and from Spokane east to the Silver Valley. Within that small land mass, their population is just over 10 million. (For perspective, the estimated population of the Inland Empire is 728 thousand.)

From Bonner County to Latah County – including Spokane and Whitman Counties, our headcount is roughly 7% of Haiti’s – in approximately the same amount of space. Where we have 80 people per square mile, Haiti has 930 people per square mile.

Haiti’s president has estimated a death toll of 30 - 50 thousand. That would be equal to 4 - 7% of the population in our area. The Red Cross is estimating that three million are injured or homeless – a greater number of people than the population of Idaho.

And for my left coast friends… the land mass of Haiti is nearly equal to an area stretching from Bellingham to Tacoma and from the Cascade crest to the Sound. The total population of Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King, and Pierce Counties is a little more than one third the population of Haiti.

I don’t know if it is possible for us in the Northwest to fully understand the scope of the calamity facing the Haitian people.

I can’t help but think how we would cope if faced with a comparable disaster. What if the earthquake prone Seattle area was struck with a tremor that killed 18 thousand (half of one percent of the eastern Puget Sound population) and left 121 thousand (one third the population) injured or homeless?

What if that size of catastrophe crippled the Inland Northwest – killing one half of one percent and leaving one third of our population homeless? (3600 dead and 24,000 without shelter)

How would we survive?

A good friend from high school grew up in Haiti. He came to the states, graduated from high school, (fantastic soccer player), and went to college on a political science major in hopes that he could one day return to his home and make Haiti a better place. I haven’t seen him in several years. I don’t know if he is still in the US, or if he returned to Haiti. Where ever he is, I know he’s hurting. He was proud of his homeland and his heritage. My heart is broken for him, and I can only hope that he is safe.

This is a massive human tragedy. Please keep Haiti in your thoughts and prayers.

If you want more information on work going on in Haiti, or would like to help...
Yele Haiti
Hands and Feet Project
Red Cross

And, for those of you who want to see the demographics for yourself...

Haiti -
population: 10,033,000
area: 10,714 sq mi

N Idaho/Eastern WA -
total population: 728,124
total area: 9056 sq miles
Bonner County - population: 41,050 - area: 1,920 sq mi
Kootenai County - population: 137,475 - area: 1,316 sq mi
Benewah County - population: 9,352 - area: 784 sq mi
Latah County - population: 35,906 - area: 1,077 sq mi
Spokane County - population: 462,677 - area: 1,781 sq mi
Whitman County - population: 41,664 - area: 2,178 sq mi

western Washington -
total population: 3,659,342
total area: 10,733 sq miles
Whatcom County - population: 196,529 - area: 2,504 sq mi
Skagit County - population: 118,000 - area: 1,920 sq mi
Snohomish County - population: 683,655 - area: 2,196 sq mi
King County - population: 1,875,519 - area: 2,307 sq mi
Pierce County - population: 785,639 - area: 1,806 sq mi

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