LEXINGTON-â âHorrible, the situation is horrible. Last night [Tuesday] I did not sleep thinking about my family, trying to talk to them but I could not reach them, neither my fatherâs or motherâs side. I do not know anything about them, there are not open lines of communication, We know there is not water, food nor electricity. The countryâs situation was already critical and now this. It is terrible that something as this happens in our country, a country that has suffered so much. Now we are at the edge of confronting a humanitarian disasterâ, said to La Voz Reynold Alcius, a Haitian living in Lexington.
Twenty-four hours after the earthquake hit the island, local members of the Haitian community in Lexington are beginning to map out humanitarian relief efforts as the extent of the damage from a devastating magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti is becoming clearer.
The number of dead victims as the result of Tuesdayâs earthquake in the Caribbean island is still unknown, however Haitian authorities fear the number would reach thousands.
âWe have talk among many of us, here in Lexington as well in other states and we are trying to get organized. The Episcopal Church will send a delegation and we are about to open a bank account for donations. We need water, clothing, food, money. Picture this, at this moment the people that were working in Haiti with humanitarian groups way before this happened need help themselves. This is how critical the situation is right now,â added Alcius.
The earthquake was the strongest to rock Haiti in more than 200 years, U.S. officials reported bodies in the streets and an aid official described "total disaster and chaos".
According to Interpress the Cuban government, the American government, the Venezuelan government and the Dominican government are all doing rescue work."
The local Haitian community and the international community are calling on people or government to donate water and food supplies. The capital's infrastructure, already precarious is in shambles. The most telling sign is the near collapse of the gleaming white palace, once a symbol of grandeur in a sea of poverty.
According to Alcius, âPeople interested to contribute can call us at (859) 489-2801 and those willing to bring donations such as food, water, clothing can bring them at the offices of the Kentucky Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights at the corner of Midland Avenue and Third Street in downtown Lexington. In Nicholasville road, the Episcopal church is accepting donations."
According to the Haitian Times, Haiti's ambassador to the U.S., Raymond Joseph, said from his Washington office that he spoke to President Rene Preval's chief of staff, Fritz Longchamp, just after the quake hit. He said Longchamp told him that "buildings were crumbling right and left" near the National Palace. The envoy said he had not been able to get back in contact with officials.
With phones down, some of the only communication came from social media such as Twitter. The news, based mostly on second-hand reports and photos, was disturbing, with people screaming in fear and roads blocked with debris. Belair, a slum even in the best of times, was said to be "a broken mess".
The earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 and was centered about 10 miles (15 kilometres) west of Port-au-Prince at a depth of five miles (8 kilometres), the U.S. Geological Survey said.
Most of Haiti's 9 million people are desperately poor, and after years of political instability the country has no real construction standards.
âEven though it is a terrible situation with great desperation, there is some optimism that the international community will respond. We have also some hope seeing the solidarity of people helping each other. Before anything we are optimist that we will be able to overcome this tragedy,â added Alcius.
People interested in contributing can call (859) 489-2801 and those willing to bring donations such as food, water can bring them at the offices of the Kentucky Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights at the corner of Midland Avenue and Third Street in downtown Lexington. In Nicholasville road, the Episcopal church is accepting donations.