MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck the country of Haiti on Saturday morning, killing at least 227 people.
Members of South Florida’s Haitian community were dismayed and heartbroken by the news.
“We all woke up under shock and disbelief this morning,” said Marleine Bastien, Executive Director of FANM, the Family Action Network Movement. “It’s just draining because people are constantly talking about how resilient Haitians and Haitian Americans are, and I just wonder when is that going to run out.”
The massive earthquake comes just months after the assassination of President Jovinel Moïse, leaving some Haitians to feel the nation can’t catch a break.
“I just can’t even imagine having to deal with one more trauma,” said Bastien.
Miami City Commissioner Jeffrey Watson releasing a statement Saturday, that read:
“To the Haitian residents of District 5, and all that have family in Haiti, from Myself, my Colleagues on the Commission, and the City of Miami employees.
Our hearts go out to you and the many citizens of Haiti affected by the recent Earthquake on the Island. The enormity of the Earthquake will undoubtedly cause disruption in the lives of so many and we as a City stand steadfast by in our support that you will need in the days and weeks to come.
Our blessings go out to you as we continue pray that the loss of life was minimal as we prepare in our efforts to assist you!”
As officials look ahead, they unfortunately know the painstaking and heartbreaking work that must begin as soon as possible.
“A lot of people are wounded; a lot of people are dead. There are a lot of collapsed buildings,” said Bastien. “I would encourage my brothers and sisters not to fall under despair.”
For more information on FANM or to donate, visit www.fanm.org.