Denison Residents Speak About Haiti Earthquake - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Denison Residents Speak About Haiti Earthquake

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DENISON, TX -- The impact of the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti is even being felt right here in Texoma. Deeda Payton spoke to a Denison woman who is desperately trying to reach her siblings there and a local doctor who recently returned from a mission trip to Haiti.

The United Nations says Port-au-Prince, the capitol of Haiti, is flattened. More than 100,000 people are dead. The 7.0 earthquake shook the impoverished, island nation at 5:14 Tuesday afternoon.

Denison Pediatrician, Dr. Jeannine Hatt, just returned from a mission trip to Haiti in November. "For something as devastating as this earthquake to hit on top of what I consider a chronic disaster. Our hearts are really broken." She says she has been to Haiti at least 15 times as a medical missionary to bring medical supplies and medicine to the country.

Haiti is located south of the United States. It shares an island with the Dominican Republic. The capitol of Port-au-Prince is about ten miles from the epicenter of the quake.

"I'm worried, I'm worried about the state of the country and my family." Denison resident and Haitian-American, Lumanie Bangerter, says she hasn't been able to reach her brother and sister and fears for their lives. The one bright spot though, her niece has been able to make contact with her family, so that gives her hope. "Yes, that's comforting. It's very comforting. And, I know that at least that somebody that we know is down there trying to get in touch with our relatives to find out what happened to my brother and my sister."

Doctor Hatt says she has not been able to reach the medical staff she works with in Port-au-Prince and has heard the general hospital has collapsed. "Just imagining these building collapsing with these small fragile children inside is difficult to imagine."

Both women agree, not knowing what is going on on the tiny island nation, who is alive, how many are dead, is the worst part of this disaster. For now, just like for so many, it's just a waiting game.

If you are seeking info on family in Haiti, you may call 888-407-4747

if you want to help Haiti, Dr. Hatt recommends visiting www.icc.org. International Child Care is a reputable organization that aids health care in Haiti.

For continuing online coverage of the Haiti earthquake, visit our special KTEN.com: "Crisis in Haiti" section.

Deeda Payton, KTEN News.