Vermont organization to help Haiti after earthquake

Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 1:03 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2021 at 6:06 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The search for survivors continues in Haiti but things are being made difficult as a different storm moves in.

Haiti was hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake over the weekend. The earthquake destroyed thousands of homes, offices, churches and other structures and the devastation could get worse thanks to a storm headed that way.

John Felix, a student at Vermont Tech, grew up in Haiti and has family living on the island. He’s only been here for a year but said if he were to go back to the country, it would be unrecognizable.

Felix told us the political unrest, the pandemic, and now an earthquake has dramatically changed the landscape of Haiti over the past year.

“Like I wouldn’t even be able to know where I am because it’s totally different,” he said.

Felix lost his uncle in the earthquake that hit the island Saturday.

“He was on his way somewhere, then as soon as the earth started shaking, the road cracked,” Felix explained. “Everyone in the car died except the driver.”

Where that accident happened, in the rural area surrounding Duchity, was one of the hardest-hit areas. Duchity is also where the Vermont Haiti Project runs a vocational school. Tim Singer is one of the group’s co-founders.

“Our response to this most recent earthquake is just formulating as we’re starting to learn what the needs are,” Singer said.

He said they need to focus on immediate needs like housing and water before determining a long-term plan.

“It’s just one more thing, you have to shake your head, I don’t know how much more this country can take,” he said.

Haiti is now dealing with Tropical Depression Grace, which may bring flooding and mudslides to the island.

You can donate or learn more about the Vermont Haiti Project on their website.

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