Patrick Farrell wins Pulitzer Prize for photographs of devastation in Haiti


Patrick Farrell, the staff photographer for the Miami Herald whose heartbreaking photos of a flood-devastated Haiti brought the plight of thousands of people to worldwide attention, has just been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for breaking-news photography. The award, as the Miami Herald wrote, represents “a reminder of the sweeping impact a dedicated journalist can have and of the power of still photography in the frantic blur of a digital world.”

The award winning photographs, which Farrell took during four trips to Haiti while on assignment with fellow Miami Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles, can be seen at a special website set up by their newspaper at

The Miami Herald had the following narrative of the context in which some of the photos were taken:

Jacquie and Patrick were the only international journalists around when they set off at daybreak on Sept. 9 in the aftermath of the fourth storm in 30 days. They heard they should go to Cabaret, a tiny mountain village up the coast from Port-au-Prince.

Almost immediately, they found that the flooding in the countryside was more extensive than anyone knew, bridges were out and passage was nearly impossible.

They had to guess where the road was as water rose up to the hood of their SUV. The last part of the trip, they followed a local teenager guiding them by foot in water up to his chest.

They arrived to find a devastated village, with horrific scenes emerging as the water receded. In one place, they found the bodies of a dozen young children. Altogether, 70 people died in Cabaret alone, a third of them children.

”It was like a war zone,” Jacquie said. ”People were walking around in a daze.”

‘I kept thinking, ‘This just can’t be,’ ” said Patrick.

For the complete story go to

Farrell’s work was also awarded first place in the “Pictures of the Year International” competition for “Angel.”


The lifeless body of Tamesha Jean, 5, is loaded into a truck in Cabaret, Haiti, she drowned during Hurricane Ike as the storm washed her from bed in the middle of the night. Haiti — long ranked as the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere — saw its people buckle under the cruelty of a merciless hurricane season in 2008. Four consecutive storms slammed the island nation, leaving in their wake staggering death tolls and massive destruction to an already-frail way of life.

The image can be found in the “Pictures of the Year International” website at

4 thoughts on “Patrick Farrell wins Pulitzer Prize for photographs of devastation in Haiti

  1. i went speechless looking on those photos. i can never imagine something like that happening to us humans. patrick farrell had great courage to see all this and capture in his camera to present it to the rest of the world.

  2. the image of Tamesha just leaves me without words… I just feel emotional pain for her family, how I would deal with this loss if it were my own. the innocence, especially of a young child to lose her life, and the picture of it is just so emotional. I feel like a truth was captured here. a truth of life, and reality.. a harsh truth, but truth..

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