JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The search for survivors continued Monday after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake Saturday in Haiti.
The country’s Civil Protection Agency said the death toll had climbed to 1,297 as of Sunday. The earthquake also left 5,700 people injured and thousands displaced from destroyed or damaged homes.
Hospitals are overloaded and now there’s a concern that Tropical Depression Grace could bring flooding and landslides to Haiti on Monday night.
“I am worried about the storm as a disaster manager. Like I said, it first puts an additional pressure on handling a disaster in a very complex situation,” said Jerry Chandler, director of Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency. “Also, as a citizen, it also worries me because I know that my fellow citizens are sleeping outside and they might be impacted because of the rain and the possible flash floods that may occur.”
The epicenter of the earthquake was about 78 miles west of the capital of Port-au-Prince, the U.S. Geological Survey said, and aftershocks continued to jolt the area on Sunday.
Osvald Gaboyau showed News4Jax the church he was baptized in, but after Saturday’s earthquake in Haiti, the church is now partially collapsed.
“I think about what they going to do because it was already hard to live and the situation is bad,” said Gaboyau.
Gaboyau moved to Jacksonville from Haiti in 2008. Three years ago, he opened 7 Wonders Bakery & Catering. He said his country is still suffering from the destruction of Hurricane Matthew, the coronavirus pandemic and politics.
“I have two close cousins who are hurt, but everyone else is OK,” said Gaboyau. “But we need to find a place to live now because most of their houses have crashed down.”
Gaboyau is sending over tents and tarps to help his community as they now fear the threat Grace could bring.
Officials said more than 7,000 homes are destroyed, nearly 5,000 damaged from the quake, leaving 30,000 families homeless.
Sabrina Campbell, with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Jacksonville, said their site in Haiti is in desperate need of medical supplies because of the thousands of injuries. AHF is a global nonprofit organization that treats patients who are HIV positive or AIDS patients.
“Our sister location in Haiti actually was hit with the earthquake,” said Campbell. “We are sending supplies to them. We will have a plane, hopefully, on the ground on Wednesday with medical necessary needs for the patients there, as well as humanitarian efforts for outlying areas.”
Campbell said AHF plans to send cargo shipments there to continue the effort until their site in Haiti is back rebuilt.
“It’s going to take everybody coming together to do it,” she said.
AHF in Jacksonville is accepting critical donations, including toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, paper towels, diapers, Sterno cooking candles, plastic buckets, blankets, flashlights and batteries, baby formula, canned meat, baby food, first aid items, tarps, and face masks.
No monetary donations will be accepted.
There are two locations to drop off items:
AHF at 2 Shircliff Way (DePaul Building at St. Vincent’s in Riverside)
AHF Art Museum at 1809 Art Museum Drive
The first round of donations will be collected through 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 17, since the cargo plane is expected to leave for its first shipment the next day. AHF plans to continue with shipments after that.
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