Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haitian-Americans worry about devastated homeland

Teachers in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood used the simplest terms they could Wednesday to explain the devastating earthquake that rattled the island nation. Their words were little comfort to students like first-grader Mitchelle Monroe, who said her grandmother recently arrived from Haiti but she did not know the whereabouts of other relatives. She was among some 400 children who prayed during a solemn Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral."There was a lot of crying this morning, especially from the older ones," said the school's principal Sister Jane Stoecker. "The younger ones mostly see their parents' reactions, but the older ones know their parents are desperately trying to get in touch with family in Haiti and only about 1 percent have been able to get through."
Haitian-Americans in Miami, New York and other U.S. cities told similar stories of frantically trying to reach relatives and friends to see if they survived the largest earthquake to hit Haiti in 200 years. Communications were widely disrupted, making it impossible to get a full picture of damage and casualties as powerful aftershocks shook the desperately poor country where many buildings are flimsy.
"Everyone is in shock right now. No one can get through," said the Rev. Robes Charles, pastor of St. Clement Church in Wilton Manors. About 275,00 Haitians live in the South Florida metro area...
Picture Left:From foreground to background, Haitian immigrants Yanique Jacques, Mare Paule and Benita Noel hold an impromptu prayer service, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010, at the Haitian Tabernacle of Louisville to pray for the victims of the Haitian earthquake. They are all members of the church in Louisville, Kentucky and have family members in Haiti.
(AP Photo/Sam Upshaw Jr., The Courier-Journal)

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