RIT on TV News: Haiti Earthquake Reaction

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YNN samples local reation from the devastating earthquake in Haiti, including Jim Myers, director of Rochester Institute of Technology’s Center for Multidisciplinary Studies.

A number of people with roots in Haiti live here in the Rochester area. Many have no idea how their loved ones are doing because they just cannot reach them.

It’s a tough day right now, said Nerlande Anselme. I think it’s one of the darkest moments we’ve ever faced.

Anselme left her homeland of Haiti 25 years ago. Following the quake, her heart, and her mind, are still there, with family members and friends whom she is unable to get a hold of.

Anselme was born in the Haitian countryside, but lived in Port-au-Prince before coming to America. The administrator in the Gates-Chili schools tried to get in touch with loved ones back home, to no avail.

You don’t know if your family’s made it out, if they’re alive, she said. You just dont know.

Rochester City School Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard was born an hour north of Port-au-Prince. He said poverty is just one issue which will impact his homeland’s ability to respond to the quake.

I doubt anyone in Haiti was prepared for, said Brizard. So listening to that, I said, ‘Oh my God, what else can happen down there?’

Jim Myers’ interest in the Haiti earthquake is two-fold. The director of RITs Center for Interdisciplinary Studies is concerned for students who haven’t been able to reach family. As a board member of Project Hope, he travels there often. Myers worries about friends and colleagues at the health care system the charity runs in northern Haiti.

Myers was scheduled to travel there next week, but the trip is now off.

The parallel is war, said Myers of the images he has seen. The parallel is the level of devastation you see after a war.

Anselme doesn’t think this country, or the world, fully comprehends the quake’s impact.

At this point, it is hard to imagine anyone could.

You just wonder whether this will just wipe out our nation, she said. That’s one of my worries.

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