A Haitian businessman residing in Dominica is making arrangements to rally a contingent of Haitians to travel to their homeland in the wake of a major earthquake.
“Up to now I not yet get any of my family in Haiti,” Owner of Kings Garments Petit-Louis Acceus told Dominica News Online.
Haitians in Dominica have been trying to reach their families and friends in Haiti following a 7.3 magnitude earthquake, which was centered about 14 miles west of the Port-au-Prince capital, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Acceus, who also holds Dominican citizenship, confirmed that since the earthquake there has been a communication problem.
However, one of his Haitian employees has already learnt of the death of family members. Acceus and his other employees who have their families in Haiti are very concerned since they have not received word from their families since the earthquake.
“I trying to organize myself with some people from Dominica. I going to have a meeting to discuss what we have to do. I am a [Dominican] citizen so I can travel … it’s better I go up in Haiti … if I get a [group] with me to see how it is already, to see how we can assist them … I think that would be a good idea also … we have priests in Dominica, we have pastors I talk to them already.
“We have a Haiti association in Dominica, but they’re not very organized …I’m not looking for my business, only I’m looking for my people because we have a lot of family in Haiti, we have a lot of problems… we try to come together today to have a meeting to take a decision to see how we can assist Haiti,” Acceus explained.
He recalled a very destructive hurricane in Haiti which claimed the lives of many residents.
“Now is God only that can do something for Haiti in that matter because we have a lot of problems … not long a hurricane pass in Haiti and a lot of people die … all the office of the President break, the hospital break, a lot of big building break already. I am from Haiti so I do my investigations… I know how big those buildings be so imagine … we have heard a lot of people die already,” he lamented.
Tuesday’s earthquake was followed by two strong aftershocks with magnitudes of 5.9 and 5.5, and residents said that the aftershocks were continuing at eight to 10 minute intervals.
“This is actually the largest earthquake we have seen in the last 200 years in this region. There has not been an magnitude six earthquake since the 1970s,” said geophysicist Julie Dutton attached to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The Director of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Representation Office in Haiti, Earl Huntley, said Wednesday he has not been able to make contact with employees following the massive earthquake that rocked the Caribbean country on Tuesday. Haiti has a population of some nine million people.