On the morning of Jan. 12, musician, writer, and hotelier Richard Morse ’79 was using Twitter to communicate with friends and send updates for fans of his band, RAM. But by evening, his posts took on a much more serious tone as Morse, his family, and guests of his Port-au-Prince hotel, the Hotel Oloffson, coped with the immediate aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti. The dispatches, which began an hour and a half after the quake, capture the scene from Morse’s vantage point:
were ok at the oloffson..internet is on !! no phones ! hope all are okay..alot of big building in PAP are down ! (6:23 p.m., Jan. 12)
another aftershock..people are screaming and freaking out down towards the stadium..much singing and praying in large numbers (7:45 p.m., Jan. 12)
the singing and praying is getting more intense..you have to believe!! From what I’m hearing, this is worse than anyone is imagining (9:18 p.m., Jan. 12)
In the last eight days, Morse has posted frequent updates of news in Port-au-Prince (including this morning’s earthquake: “last night I went to bed wondering why I was still sleeping outside.This morning I found out why.”), and he also has attempted to connect family members with loved ones in the city. His hotel is hosting several journalists who have come to Haiti to cover the ongoing humanitarian crisis. More than 11,000 Twitter users are now following Morse’s tweets (@RAMhaiti), which have been quoted by CNN, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and scores of other news outlets.
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