MIAMI (CBSMiami) — South Florida politicians are reacting to the devastating news of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake which struck Haiti on Saturday morning, leaving at 29 people dead.
The US Geological Survey said it’s likely that casualties are “high.”
The earthquake was about 7.5 miles northeast of Saint-Louis-du-Sud, according to the US Geological Survey.
“There are reports of significant damage to homes, roads, and infrastructure,” American Red Cross spokeswoman Katie Wilkes said.
Florida has the largest Haitian population of any U.S. state, with over 400,000 individuals, according to U.S. Census data and about 228,000 of those live here in South Florida.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava tweeted Saturday morning that “Miami-Dade stands ready to assist in all the ways we can in the days and weeks ahead.”
Devastating news from Haiti this morning. Keeping the people of Haiti and their families and loves ones in our community in my heart and prayers. Miami-Dade stands ready to assist in all the ways we can in the days and weeks ahead. https://t.co/2e5PIxvnef
— Daniella Levine Cava (@MayorDaniella) August 14, 2021
Senator Rick Scott also called the earthquake “terrible,” saying “Florida is home to many Haitian communities that are undoubtedly shattered by this morning’s news. Our prayers are with them, their families in Haiti & all impacted by this tragedy. We’ll be monitoring the situation in Haiti and stand ready to help.”
This is terrible. Florida is home to many Haitian communities that are undoubtedly shattered by this morning’s news. Our prayers are with them, their families in Haiti & all impacted by this tragedy. We’ll be monitoring the situation in #Haiti & stand ready to help. https://t.co/El7TVaLNOx
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) August 14, 2021
Congresswoman Frederica Wilson issued the following statement in response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti:
“I was very disheartened to learn that Haiti has once again been stricken by a devastating force of nature. Today’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake has killed dozens of people and injured scores of others. This could not have happened at a worse time as the nation was already reeling from economic and political crises, widespread corruption, and last month’s assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. Moreover, Haiti is still struggling to recover from the 2010 earthquake. It is a tragedy that the people of Haiti, who have given new meaning to the word resilience, must now deal with yet another tragic event.”
“I applaud President Biden for taking swift action to provide U.S. support for Haiti and am hopeful that we will see the extraordinary level of generosity that Americans showed in response to the 2010 earthquake. As the representative of one of the nation’s largest Haitian American community, I will be monitoring this situation very closely and provide whatever assistance that I can. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti and the Haitian diaspora in District 24 and across the United States.”
The Caribbean nation of roughly 11 million people, many of them living amid poverty and rising violence, is vulnerable to earthquakes and hurricanes.
Making matters worse, the National Hurricane Center has forecasted that Tropical Storm Grace will reach Haiti late Monday night or early Tuesday morning.