‘You feel sad and helpless’: Spring Valley’s Haitian population mobilizes to aid earthquake victims
There are growing concerns in the Hudson Valley for the fate of loved ones who are impacted by this weekend's powerful and deadly earthquake in Haiti.
Spring Valley is home to one of the largest Haitian communities in the state and many residents are mourning the deaths of family members who've tragically died in the 7.2 magnitude earthquake.
The civil defense director says at least 1,297 people have died and at least 1,800 others were hurt.
The prime minister has declared a one-month state of emergency for the whole country. He says he has been rushing help to areas where towns have been destroyed and hospitals are overwhelmed.
The devastating quake struck the southwestern part of the hemisphere’s poorest nation, nearly razing some towns and triggering landslides.
It's now hampering rescue efforts, in a country already struggling with the coronavirus pandemic, a presidential assassination, and a wave of gang violence.
Downed communication lines are severing any contact between some residents in Spring Valley and their loved ones.
As the death toll continues to climb, many fear this latest tragedy could rival the loss and destruction of the 2010 earthquake, which took the lives of more than 200,000 people and leveled the capital. "Every time we try to get over something, something else happens. Seeing the pictures and videos makes you feel sad and helpless,” says Shasa Facien, of Spring Valley.
"I've seen a lot of folks laying on the ground, bloodied up and some folks in rubble," says Eudson Francois, of Spring Valley.
Francois is a member of the National Hatian American Elected Officials Network and a board member in Spring Valley. He's been in touch with the Haitian ambassador and is organizing community relief efforts.