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'An Incredible Disaster': West Sacramento Engineer Drawn To Haiti To Help Rebuild

WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The death toll after Haiti's devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake on August 14 is now at more than 2,200—and that number is expected to climb.

Meanwhile, the region's limited health care services struggle to discharge hospital patients when they have no home to go back to.

The devastation is prompting a Northern California engineer to fly to Haiti to help. Dr. Kit Miyamoto is taking on a massive task to help entire villages rebuild from the ground up.

"Think about how many family members and kids...just unbelievable tragedy," Dr. Miyamoto told CBS13 shortly after he landed. "Over 50,000 houses and churches and schools. It's an incredible disaster."

Dr. Miyamoto is the CEO of Miyamoto International, an engineering firm based in West Sacramento. He's in Haiti to assess the damage and develop reconstruction strategies.

"To really pinpoint the exact location of this incredible damage—they're in the mountain area so it's really hard to get there—you have to hike up there," said Dr. Miyamoto. "I mean, think about it. You lose a house, you lose a whole village, you lose a whole township."

Dr. Miyamoto and other earthquake structural engineering experts will hike up rugged terrain conducting damage assessments of villages and critical infrastructures such as water, power and communications.

The rebuilding is immense. Dr. Miyamoto is committing an indefinite amount of time and effort to see people in Haiti get back on their feet.

"I think each of us can do a little bit to make a difference, I believe. That's why we're here actually," said Dr. Miyamoto.

This isn't the first time he's helped Haiti rebuild. He was there after the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people. Dr. Miyamoto says it only costs $2,000 to rebuild a home in Haiti. He's hoping more people will step up to help in his rebuilding efforts by donating to Miyamoto Relief.  It is a 501c3 non profit.   Dr. Miyamoto says 100% of the donations go towards the people in need, with no overhead.

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