Philadelphia's Haitian community turns to prayer after deadly 7.2 earthquake

The 7.2 earthquake killed more than 1,200 people and injured at least 2,800 others.

Monday, August 16, 2021
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On Sunday, many in Philadelphia's Haitian community turned to prayer following the devastation left behind by the deadly 7.2 earthquake that shook the Caribbean nation on Saturday.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Many in Philadelphia's Haitian community turned to prayer Sunday following the devastation left behind by a deadly 7.2 earthquake that shook the Caribbean nation.

More than 1,200 people are believed to have died and at least 2,800 others are injured in Saturday's quake.

Services at Saint William Roman Catholic Church were centered on the Catholic holiday known as the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, as well as prayer for the families of those lost in the earthquake.

SEE ALSO: How to help Haiti: List of organizations accepting donations after deadly earthquake

"Haiti is a country that continues to suffer and suffer, unfortunately, but I think the most important thing for me, for Haitians, for every Haitian, for the whole country, is to continue to keep them in prayer," said Rev. Eugene Almonor.

Those that want to help, like PhillyForHaiti, are relying on partners down on the ground to assess things like roadways and buildings to see if it's safe to even travel.

"They are going to Haiti tomorrow to see how the roads are from the north traveling to the south to see if we are able to come down to help," said PhillyForHaiti Founder Carine Dorlus.

Dorlus is hoping to take volunteers from the Philadelphia area to go down and help with rescue, recovery and clean up.

Dorlus also has family in Haiti but they were fortunately spared from the destruction. Her partnering orphanage and home for the elderly was not.

For those looking to help the island nation, Dorlus said there will be a need for very specific people in the coming days.

"The need is to bring construction workers to rebuild some of the houses, some of the schools, some of the churches that were destroyed, and also bring people to help clean up, and also food distribution," she said.

UNICEF says they are working with government and non-government partners to provide support to affected communities.

Officials with the United States Geological Survey say aftershocks likely will continue for weeks or even months.