The earthquake that shook Haiti on Tuesday was only the most recent disaster to lay siege to the most impoverished nation in the Western hemisphere, a country that was beginning to show some signs of rebirth, says Haitian-born American novelist Edwidge Danticat.
"There was a sense after the four storms last year that there were some positive things happening," she said, with new hotels going up and fresh hope for foreign investment, against a long historical backdrop of poverty, natural disaster and political instability.
The magnitude-7.0 quake, she said, "just grinds everything back into the ground."
Even so, Danticat sees hope in a resilient population and an international community that she believes will come to its aid.
"It looks extremely bad right now," she said, "but Haitians will rebuild."