Rice University student with ties to Haiti talks about devastation after massive earthquake

HOUSTON – A Rice University student shares what his family in Haiti is dealing with after the massive earthquake.

As thousands of families are struggling with the devastation, Marc-Ansy Laguerre said his family is in the southwest region, the center of destruction.

“I have my father in Haiti and he is currently in a yard of a school because he’s afraid of going back inside the house,” he said.

Laguerre said his father, uncle and cousin are all okay after their region was hit by a monstrous 7.2 magnitude earthquake.

“They are safe because my house did not collapse, but I’m the neighborhood there are a lot of buildings severely struck,” said Laguerre.

Reginald DesRoches, the provost of Rice University and professor of Civil Health Environmental Engineering at Rice, was born in Haiti too. He said the country is still picking up the pieces from the quake in 2010 and must now deal with the threat of Tropical Storm Grace.

“You see buildings completely collapsed lots of rubble everywhere. People being pulled out of buildings that are collapsed. They are still recovering even though it’s 11 years later in many ways from the 2010 earthquake,” he said.

The southwest region is only 80 miles from Port Au Prince, but still really hard to get help there because it’s so rural.

“It is a much more remote area so very difficult to get supplies and equipment to that area,” said DesRoches.

DesRoches said there are not enough hospitals to care for all the injured.

And with the country’s presidential assassination just last month, there is a lot of uncertainty and much more instability.

“There’s now much less government support there to respond to this type of event. It’s going to be many, many years again we’re still rebuilding from 2010 on some areas it’s going to be a long haul for Haiti,” added DesRoches.

The First Haitian Church of God here in Houston has set up a GoFundMe account and are asking for monetary donations, the fastest way to get aid there.

You can donate by clicking here.