VENICE, Fla — A catastrophic 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the Southwestern portion of Haiti has caused extreme destruction and killed hundreds of people. That number is expected to rise to the tens of thousands, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
As the people of Haiti search for their own under the rubble that was once buildings and homes, Agape Flights has packed up supplies to deliver Sunday.
Aaron Bholaramsingh, a volunteer pilot and mechanic, says people living in Les Cayes know what their plane looks like.
“They can see someone is coming, someone is responding, and maybe something familiar. They can know that someone cares,” he said.
He believes that’s the most important thing, second to getting them the urgent supplies they need right now to get through this crisis.
“It is the urgency that counts, it’s getting things there that are absolutely essential right now at the moment,” said Allen Speer, the CEO of Agape Flights.
A generator will go to a local hospital along with surgical supplies, masks, gloves, bandages and gauze. Plus, missionaries on the ground who work with Agape flights will start passing out non-perishable food items and water immediately.
Speer says this won’t be the only time they go either.
“100 at least probably,” he said. “After the earthquake in 2010, we flew 120 missions in the first 90 days. But we borrowed every airplane, every pilot we could find. So, we’ll do a lot of flights.”
He says as the days pass by, the needs change and adds there will be a huge need for encouragement for the folks who were injured.
“A lot of people don’t realize that after the 2010 earthquake, one out of every 10 Haitians that survived were amputees,” he said. “One out of 10.”
Agape Flights delivers supplies on a weekly basis to Haiti, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic and Speer says many of the missionaries there have devoted their lives to the cause.
Getting to know the Haitian people is what drives Bholaramsingh to volunteer.
“I think after seeing all that I think you want to do something to help them because he almost feels like they are family,” he said.
Speer will be down in Haiti Thursday to find out the extent of the damage and what’s still needed.