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Haiti earthquake: Banks reopen in Port-au-Prince

January 24, 2010 | 10:26 am

51816240 The earthquake destroyed just about everything Georges Marceau owned, even his shoes.

For 10 days, the 38-year-old engineer couldn't even withdraw money to buy food: All of the banks in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, had been closed since the Jan. 12 quake.

So on Saturday, the day the banks reopened, Marceau was up early and in line at a Sogebank branch shortly after 5 a.m. A tall man with a dignified bearing and a neatly trimmed beard, he was dressed in slacks, a sports jacket and awkward-looking clogs.

"I want some money in my pocket," he said. "I want money to eat."

Many bank branches collapsed in the earthquake and won't be reopening soon, if ever. But banks that had doors to open did so Saturday, attracting long lines of anxious and sometimes desperate people in a city where ATMs haven't been working since the earthquake.

Continue reading "Banks reopen in Haiti's capital."

-- Mitchell Landsberg and Tracy Wilkinson in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Photo: United Nations troops keep guard at a newly opened bank in Petionville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince. It was the first day since the quake that customers were allowed in to withdraw money and make transactions. Credit: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times