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Haitian Expats Fear Relatives More Cut Off From Aid After Latest Earthquake

Fernando Llano
A Haitian family displaced by Saturday's earthquake with no shelter stands in the rains of Tropical Storm Grace near Les Cayes on Tuesday.

The 2010 Haiti earthquake was centered largely on the capital, Port-au-Prince. That at least made it easier to get relief to survivors.

The quake that hit Haiti Saturday affected far more remote areas — and Haitians here in South Florida say, this time, survivors are cut off.

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That's apparent in videos expats have been receiving from relatives in rural southwest Haiti, the quake's epicenter.

One received by Farah Larrieux of Miramar shows Haitians who survived the powerful magnitude-7.2 temblor navigating a road blocked by massive mountain boulders.

Larrieux says as a girl she spent her summer vacations in that same area near Camp-Perrin, north of the hard-hit coastal city of Les Cayes. She says she has fortunately not heard of any relatives killed in the earthquake. But she says they’re nonetheless desperate — cut off from shelter, food, medicine and especially water, under grisly circumstances.

“In another part of Camp-Perrin there have been many dead — and because of all the dead bodies that are in the river, which provides water to the people there, it’s not safe to drink this water," Larrieux said.

"They’re trying to survive but they need the water.”

Larrieux, a communications strategist, says helicopter may be the only viable way to get those necessities to people like her relatives there.

That’s especially true since the tropical storm that drenched southwest Haiti this week my have flooded many of what roads are still open — and since violent criminal gangs have also been blocking roads there.

“Access to people there is going to be difficult, absolutely," Larrieux said. "To send all the humanitarian aid will be a challenge.”

The death toll from Haiti’s earthquake has risen above 1,900 this week and is expected to rise higher.