Assist pours in after lots of of deaths
Early Saturday, Judeline Louis, a native of Port-au-Prince, received a desperate call from her daughter who lives in Haiti.
“‘Mom, there was an earthquake. Mom, the houses are crumbling again,'” her daughter told her on the phone.
The call came minutes after news spread that a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck a small town in western Haiti, Louis said. The death toll more than doubled on Sunday. According to the Haitian Civil Protection Agency, at least 724 people have been killed and at least 2,800 injured.
Louis moved to New York City five years after the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010. After that “nightmare,” she said, she hoped that her family would never see an earthquake again.
Louis said she couldn’t reach her daughter after that horrific phone call.
7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti:“Losses are getting high”
“I just want to hear her voice one more time. I am sad for my country. … I can’t believe that another earthquake will devastate us again, ”said Louis USA TODAY.
Haitians struggled last month with the assassination of their President Jovenel Moïse, instability due to gang violence and an increase in coronavirus infections. The country had still not fully recovered from the 2010 quake. And Tropical Storm Grace is heading for the island this week after Tropical Storm Fred supplied 400,000 Haitian homes and businesses with electricity.
Haiti’s new Prime Minister Ariel Henry said on Twitter the government would declare a state of emergency and act quickly to reach those affected by the earthquake.
Political leaders, volunteers and residents from around the world have gathered support and offered assistance to Haiti. In Jamaica, where the earthquake was reportedly felt, Prime Minister Andrew Holness offered prayers to those affected.
Vice President Kamala Harris said the US is “working fast” to assess Haiti and provide assistance with recovery.
“It really hurts to see all the devastation in Haiti and I have a feeling we really can’t take a break,” tweeted Naomi Osaka, whose father is Haitian. “I will be playing a tournament this week and I will give all the prize money to aid efforts in Haiti. I know our ancestral blood is strong, we will continue to grow.”
Photos of Jose Flécher were shared on social media. They showed rubble and destroyed buildings in the surrounding cities.
President Joe Biden described the earthquake as “devastating” and offered condolences.
“I authorized an immediate US response and appointed USAID administrator Samantha Power as a senior US official to coordinate these efforts,” Biden said in a statement.
“Through USAID, we support efforts to assess the damage and support efforts to rescue the injured and those who now need to be rebuilt. The United States remains a close and enduring friend of the people of Haiti, and we will be in the consequences of this tragedy. “
U.S. MP Val Demings, D-Fla., Pledged her support to work with co-chairs of the Haiti Caucus to aid the country’s recovery.
António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, said the world organization was working to help the country and offered condolences to the Haitians.
Luis Abinader, president of the Dominican Republic, neighboring Haiti, said the government had offered help.
The US MP Maxine Waters, D-California, emphasized the political tensions in Haiti and the coronavirus pandemic.
“At a time when Haiti has no organized government and suffers badly from COVID-19, the harm is unspeakable. We must now do everything we can to provide humanitarian aid to Haiti, ”Waters tweeted.
Support also came from outside the political spectrum. José Andrés, founder of World Central Kitchen, an organization that provides meals to needy countries, tweeted that the organization was ready to help.
Louis said she hoped the people of Haiti could feel the global support.
“I hope you hear us pray,” said Louis. “I hope all of Haiti can feel our prayers from all over the world.”
Contributors: Cady Stanton, Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY; The Associated Press.
Follow Gabriela Miranda on Twitter: @itsgabbymiranda