Brooklynites Reach Out To Loved Ones In Haiti
For many in the city's largest Haitian community, communication to their homeland remains limited as reports of the devastation continue to fuel their worst fears. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
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At a Haitian barber shop in East Flatbush Wednesday, all eyes were focused on the TV screen as they watched the news unfold in Haiti. One man was so overcome with emotion, he had no words.
Down the block at Radio Soleil, many were panicked, desperately trying to get in contact with their loved ones on the island nation.
"I feel so scared because I don't know what happened to my family. And I cannot communicate with my family. I don't know how to help them," said Brooklyn resident Aristha Israel.
"It's very hard. You can't get in contact. She has two cell phones in Haiti. None of them work," said Brooklyn resident Marie Etienn.
Radio Soleil became a gathering place Wednesday as people searched for information. It streamed a live news broadcast from Haiti with one heartbreaking story after another.
"This had hit us home directly. There's no single Haitian in the US who is not directly immediately impacted by this," said Radio Soleil owner Ricot Dupuy.
Radio Soleil is broadcast through the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut tri-state area.
It was a similar story at nearby Radio PaNou where news was relayed and people called in.
"A lot of people call the radio. That's why I've been working all day, all night. I don't stop to give the people information," said Radio PaNou owner Jude Joseph.
Some people were able to reach friends and relatives who lived outside the capital of Port-au-Prince.
"My mother and father live in Haiti. I was able to talk to a friend I know in Haiti to check on them," said Brooklyn resident Herold Dasque.
Some Haitian-Americans NY1 spoke with say they plan to go in person to locate loved ones and help with the rescue and rebuilding efforts.
"I'm all ready to go. I've got all my tools ready," said Brooklyn resident Jackolo Jean-Baptiste.