Many were seen gathering underneath the statue of Haitian general and pioneer Toussant L’ouverture on Thursday for a moment of reflection in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood.
On Jan. 12, 2010, exactly 13 years ago, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, leaving its capital Port-au-Prince devastated.
About 220,000 people were reportedly killed in the tragedy and on Thursday, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said it’s a day that nobody will ever forget.
“We cannot forget the suffering back on the homeland and 13 years ago, all the devastation, and still not recovered,” she said.
Florida Rep. Marie Woodson told Local 10 News that the day hits home because she had a friend who lost two children in the earthquake.
“That day impacted me in so many ways, I can’t even think because I had friends I went to school with,” she said. “A good friend of mine actually that I went to school with lost two kids in the earthquake.”
Woodson, who is originally from Haiti, is among the leaders from Florida and is pushing the U.S. government to step in to help end the crisis now affecting Haiti.
Since the 2010 earthquake, life on the island has deteriorated.
“Haiti’s entire infrastructure was almost destroyed,” said Miami-Dade Commissioner Marleine Bastien.
“It’s incumbent on the United States of America to do something about what’s going on over there,” Woodson said.