Seattle relief group staffers unaccounted for in Haiti

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by JENNIFER CABALA / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 14 at 1:21 PM

SEATTLE – Seattle relief organization World Concern is still waiting to hear what has happened to at least 30 staff members who are unaccounted for in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

World Concern has some 120 staff members there and those who have reported in to work are dealing with the crisis.

"The situation's very dire," said World Concern president David Eller.

Although the World Concern building survived the earthquake, most people had left for the day when the quake hit. Several staff members have lost family, including a man who lost his wife and child.

World Concern's staff in Haiti is all Haitian nationals, so they have to deal with the trauma of living through the earthquake, losing loved ones and watching their homeland crumble around them.

Despite that they are pushing through, distributing tarp shelters, water purification tablets and food.

"In a disaster of this magnitude, everyone will be touched some way, either an extended family member or a friend that they've lost. And yet, the need is and the desire is to respond and to help out even in the midst of their own suffering," said Eller.

World concern staffers aren't the only ones looking for loved ones. There were close to 45,000 Americans in Haiti when the quake hit, including many missionaries and humanitarian volunteers. Their families in the U.S., including those in Washington state, are working with the state department, U.S. embassy in Haiti and our congressional delegation to find out what has happened to their missing loved ones.


 

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