WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Haiti is in the midst of another crisis. A state of emergency has been declared after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the southern portion of the country Saturday morning.
Valintine Joseph, a Haitian native who lives in West Palm Beach, said right after waking up, she got a disturbing message from a friend.
"I did not understand it. It said 7.2 and it said St. Louis du Sud. I'm like, 'What is this?" she said.
Then the friend called her and told her about the crisis in Haiti.
"I just became numb, because how much more can Haiti suffer?" she said.
In 2014, Joseph created the JAYJ Foundation for Women and Children in memory of her three brothers who died from sickle cell disease. She's also been doing mission work providing food. She said calls for help have been coming in.
"We need to find out how many people are dead, how many have survived," she said. "The hospitals, as you know, they were already burdened and on top of this, it's chaotic."
WPTV then spoke with Miriam Fredrick.
"They're still digging for people under the rubble," she said.
Fredrick is with a group called New Life For Kids. She helps run a children's home for 140 kids. She said she got a call from Haiti early Saturday.
"They described a shaking of the buildings, things falling off the wall and trying to get kids out of the children's home outside," she said. "They were all in a panic in Port-au-Prince."
She said where they work, in the south of Haiti, there is total devastation. Fredrick said hospitals are overwhelmed, houses are destroyed and her group is heading to Haiti.
"We have our co-director on a plane tomorrow going," she said. "We have doctors going already ready to go. They're making reservations."
Both women said the resilience of Haiti and its people is remarkable. They both wondered how much more must the Haitian people suffer.
Joseph's group can't do it alone. Anyone interested in donating to help the Haitian people is asked to please contact her at 561-320-3861.
To donate to Fredrick's organization, click here.