North Miami Mayor: Haiti Earthquake Relief Efforts Should 'Concentrate On How We're Going To Help The Survivors'
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The mayor of North Miami has reached out to President Joe Biden in the hopes of getting additional aid to Haiti following the massive earthquake that has killed hundreds.
"The first thing I thought to myself is what happened to my dad? What happened to my family? What happened to the people of that region?" said North Miami Mayor Philippe Bien-Aime.
Bien-Aime's father was among those in the southern portion of Haiti rocked by Saturday's 7.2 magnitude earthquake.
"I spoke to my dad and I spoke to three officials from three different municipalities and they describe the situation in that part of the country as chaotic," he said.
That chaos was caught on camera. One video showed a man trapped under rubble and the community franticly trying to help. The survivor is among the 2,800 injured.
Bien-Aime said helping those victims is currently Haiti's greatest need.
"The people injured by the earthquake, they're outside of the hospital waiting for help. That's why right now I think that's the first needs of the people is medical assistance," Bien-Aime said.
Bien-Aime said he reached out to the Biden administration and Miami-Dade County for that extra help.
"This is a 7.2. It's bigger than the previous one that destroyed the capital and killed over 150,000 people. That means in the days to come we expect a bigger number of casualties in the situation," he said. "Now we need to concentrate on how we're going to help the survivors those under the rubble."
Several groups in South Florida are heading to Haiti to help out in any way they can.
One of them is JetBlue, which is donating a plane, gas, and crew to bring first responders and other relief to the country. They were loading up Sunday afternoon to bring supplies, medical equipment and food to the communities affected.
Team Rubicon will help with those injured and getting them the medical attention they need.
World Central Kitchen will be helping to feed those who have lost everything in the disaster.
"We are filling up this plane right now with a lot of cooking equipment and have the ability to transport food to some of these communities that are really hard hit right now," he said. "So our team is already on the ground cooking but this is going to enable us to scale up our operation," said Nate Mook, executive director of World Central Kitchen.
Mook as well as other volunteers flew on the plane as well to assist. No timetable yet on how long they will be there. World Central Kitchen partnered with Jet Blue after Hurricane Dorian to help those in the Bahamas.
Haiti's civil protection agency reported on Sunday the death toll had risen to nearly 1,300.
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