Vigil held in Queens for victims of earthquake in Haiti

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Friday, August 20, 2021
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Emotions ran high Thursday night at a vigil in Queens for victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

QUEENS VILLAGE, Queens (WABC) -- Emotions ran high Thursday night at a vigil in Queens for victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

Borough President Donovan Richard organized the vigil which was held outside the headquarters for Haitian Americans United for Progress.

The group's leader says Haiti will overcome the disaster.

"Haiti is still an amazing country which with the right support, with the right management of the resources, we should rise from this and be better," Elsie Saint Louis said.

Haiti's Civil Protection Agency late Wednesday raised the number of deaths from the earthquake to 2,189 and said 12,268 people were injured. More than 300 people are estimated to still be missing, said Serge Chery, head of civil defense for the Southern Province, which includes the hard-hit small port city of Les Cayes.

The magnitude 7.2 earthquake damaged or destroyed more than 100,000 homes, leaving about 30,000 families homeless, according to official estimates. Hospitals, schools, offices and churches also were demolished or badly damaged.

"To know that we have support and we have a voice and we are recognized means so much," a speaker at the vigil said.

While some officials have suggested an end to the search for survivors so that heavy machinery can clear all of the rubble, Prime Minister Ariel Henry appeared unwilling to move to that stage.

"Some of our citizens are still under the debris. We have teams of foreigners and Haitians working on it," he said.

He also appealed for unity.

"We have to put our heads together to rebuild Haiti," Henry said. "The country is physically and mentally destroyed."

If you would like to help, you can bring donations to any New York City police precinct.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

RELATED | How to help Haiti: List of organizations accepting donations after deadly earthquake


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