(By Ivan Watson/CNN)
Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) – On January 12, the earth shook here. More than 220,000 people were killed. More than 300,000 people were injured. The city and large stretches of surrounding countryside were devastated.
Six months later, not much appears to have changed. It still looks like a bomb just dropped on this city.
The government has barely begun the cleanup process. Roads in the center of the city are still blocked by debris. And some experts predict that it could take up to 20 years to remove all of it.
“We have moved 250,000 cubic meters of rubble, which sounds like a lot, until you realize there’s 20 million cubic meters of rubble here,” said Imogen Wall, spokeswoman for the United Nations office of humanitarian affairs in Haiti.
The U.N. estimates 1.5 million people currently live in camps. That means roughly one in nine Haitians are homeless.
And Wall says the situation is so difficult that six months from now, it may still look the same.
“Because of the numbers that we are coping with here and what we know about what it takes to do long-term reconstruction well… it will take time to get 1.5 million people back into the kind of long-term living arrangements that they want and need,” she said.
Most Haitians are left fending for themselves.