Boston transplant Rich Innocent relays a tale of survival, teamwork among the people of Delmas Richardson Innocent: Proud Bostonian, Haitian now searching for survivors in DelmasFor the third consecutive night, Richardson Innocent will rest his head tonight underneath a tree in Delmas, a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. There’s a machete and a chisel close by his side. Clustered around him is his cousin, Norton, and a frightened family he has known for only a few weeks.
All over the neighborhood, a rumor has spread that another aftershock is coming tonight at midnight. No one will sleep indoors for fear of being entombed in rubble like so many others all around them if another one hits.
Innocent, 36, isn’t sure what to think any more. A longtime Boston resident who just moved back to his native Haiti last month, he’s not the superstitious type. But, after the events of the last 60 hours, he’s not taking any chances. He and a group of nine others will sleep under the tree tonight, far enough away from a nearby house, one of the few still standing in Delmas 35.
In the morning, Richardson and his cousin will rise early and hit the streets of this community on the outskirts of Haiti’s destroyed capitol city. They will spend their daylight hours searching for survivors and for supplies to help feed their friends and neighbors.
Every able-bodied person in the neighborhood is doing their part. Without any discernable help from the outside world — there are no rescue teams, no soldiers, no heavy equipment in Delmas yet— Haitians are helping Haitians.
The news coming out of Haiti is horrible. The images are heart-breaking. The damages are catastrophic. The suffering seems limitless. Large parts of Port-au-Prince lie in rubble. A shaky YouTube video shot just before dusk on Tuesday from a hill overlooking the city shows nothing but haze, evidently a cloud of dust rising from the floor of that teeming city in a valley.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced today the launch of a new tool on www.state.gov, the “Person Finder,” to allow people to find and share information on missing loved ones in Haiti. The tool can be found at http://www.state.gov/haitiquake.
Congressman Stephen F. Lynch along with Brockton Mayor Linda Balzotti will be hosting a community meeting and information session on rescue and relief operations underway following the earthquake in Haiti. Representatives from the United States Coast Guard, the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services and other federal agencies will be available to give updates on the current situation and offer information to those who have been impacted by the earthquake and have family or loved ones living or travelling in Haiti.
STATEMENT FROM HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY JANET NAPOLITANO “As part of the Department’s ongoing efforts to assist Haiti following Tuesday’s devastating earthquake, I am announcing the designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals who were in the United States as of January 12, 2010. This is a disaster of historic proportions and this designation will allow eligible Haitian nationals in the United States to continue living and working in our country for the next 18 months.
The voice on the other end of the line was full of life. There were no tears, despite the fact that she is surrounded by death.
This afternoon, the Reporter finally got through to a home in the Delmas section of Port-au-Prince where we know our friend and colleague Richardson Innocent has been since the earthquake hit.
A coalition of organizations from across Boston are joining forces to raise funds for Haiti's relief effort on Saturday, Jan. 16 in Roxbury's Dudley Square. Billed as a "collaborative earthquake relief effort", organizers say that funds and items collected at the event will go to the American Red Cross, Partners in Health and The Boston Foundation. The event, set to run from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at Hibernian Hall, 184 Dudley St., will include a speaking program and entertainment. For more information on supporting the event, contact Nancy Rosseau at email@example.com.
WCVB-TV Channel 5 is broadcasting an all-day fund-raiser today, Jan. 15 until 11:35p.m. at the station’s studios. While raising funds for the American Red Cross International Disaster Relief in Haiti, "Relief Fund 5: Haiti Quake" will focus on local efforts to help disaster victims by interviewing representatives from the Red Cross and the Haitian community in Massachusetts. With live inserts throughout the day, Channel 5 is asking viewers to call 781-453-3100