Houston - A state of emergency has been declared in Haiti following Saturday morning’s powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake.
So far more than 300 people are reported dead and at least 1,800 injured. A desperate search continues for survivors Saturday evening.
"We can take what’s going on, but we cannot describe it," said Pastor Jonas Hilaire from the First Haitian Church of God Houston. "We were shocked. We pray God gives peace and comfort to those affected."
After learning about the earthquake, members of the First Haitian Church of God Houston checked on their friends and family members living in Haiti.
"I finally got in touch with 2 of them," said Daguesseau Metellus. "They were telling me the damage was pretty heavy."
A country hit hard by Tropical Storm Laura in 2020. In addition, Haitian President Jovenel Moise was assassinated last month.
"You can see the people are overwhelmed and they are calling for help," said Hilaire.
On Saturday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner urged the community to support those in Haiti.
"There are a lot of Haitians in our community, let’s be supportive," said Turner. "Let’s pray for them, but let’s do more than that. Whatever we can to assist them with supplies, let’s step up and do our part."
A 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti in 2010 and is estimated to have killed more than 100,000 people. Saturday’s quake was even stronger.
"We pray that our people regain their confidence as help may be on the way from places we may not even know," said Wilner Luders.