Haitian Americans Desperate For News

6:15 PM, Jan 13, 2010   |    comments
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  • Embassy of Haiti in DC

WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- By text, email, cell and satellite phone, Haitian Americans are desperately seeking word on their loved ones -- and rallying a massive effort to help.

A few people got through in the minutes after the quake, and even then, the news was horrifying. Since then, there has been way too much silence. Even the ambassador here is getting very little information.


All day and all through the night, Haitian Americans have been calling the embassy and turning up at the door, hoping for news that their family members have survived, but watching the pictures and fearing the worst.

"I did (cry) all night last night," says Stanley Lucas of the Greater Washington Haiti Relief Committee and his voice broke and the tears welled up again. "It's tough, but we will overcome. We will bury the dead. Assist the people in trouble. We'll work, work hard.

Veronique Pluviose of Fort Washington came to the embassy to help, but the more time that passes without communication with her husband's family, the more she worries.

"There is a family member, and we have absolutely no word, but the entire family is from the epicenter. And he says, prepare for funerals."

Jean Yves DaYti has been the voice of Haiti on Washington's WPFW for more than a quarter of a century. His homeland has seen plenty of agony in 26 years, but never anything as bad as this. 

"I tried to reach my friends, my family, and I cried sometimes. 

But DaYti says Haiti's years of upheaval may have made the earthquake even more deadly.

"This is a country where people do what they want to do. For example, we have no construction codes, no building standards. So it was kind of expected. It was in the making."

There's a slogan on the Haitian flag.

"In unity there is strength."

Haitian Americans are hoping that somehow out of this they will emerge stronger and more unified.

Written by Bruce Leshan
9NEWS NOW & wusa9.com

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