NEW YORK - As the death toll mounts from a powerful earthquake that struck Haiti, the city's Haitian community is speaking out, sharing their worst fears, offering prayers and mobilizing to create avenues of aid that will help the survivors most in need.
The images coming in from Haiti are heartbreaking: homes, businesses, and other structures reduced to rubble, possibly with survivors buried underneath. In Brooklyn, which is home to a large Haitian American population, Radio Soleil is a beacon for the latest information and a place to come together, station director Ricot Dupuy said.
"Earlier in the morning and yesterday, the phone calls we were receiving were just that, they were telling us we lost this one, that one is lost," Dupuy said.
It's the main concern of residents in the neighborhoods represented by City Council Member Farrah Louis, who is a proud daughter of Haitian immigrants.
"Everyone here knows someone in Haiti who is struggling, everyone here is worried about their family and friends back home," she said in a statement. We remain united in our hopes for a brighter future for Haiti."
Dupuy said U.S.-based Haitian relief organizations have been working all weekend on the best ways to help.
"The Haitian American Doctors Association in New York — they had a show on my radio, and they're putting together a structure to help these areas," Dupuy said. "So they were giving us a good account of the devastation."
He added that his listeners are concerned about emergency preparedness and response in Haiti. With Haiti's geography and the constant threat of earthquakes and hurricanes, it is time for a stable government and a real national disaster plan," Dupuy said.