LIers await news from Haiti, plan relief efforts

Many Long Island residents with family in Haiti are waiting, hoping to hear from relatives after the devastating quake that hit the island nation Tuesday.

Calls from concerned residents have been pouring into a West Hempstead radio station that caters to Long Island?s Haitian community. Radio Eclair station owner Acelus Etienne says they want to know the latest news, but communication out of Haiti has been slow.

Church leaders are also trying to provide comfort for the community through sermons and organization of relief efforts.

Rev. Donald Havrilla, of the Southampton Full Gospel Church, is raising money for the relief effort. He and his wife have run a mission out of Haiti since 1982. Havrilla says he hasn?t heard anything from any of his employees who are currently there. He says he?s planning to travel to Haiti as soon as possible to help.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre set up a special relief fund and asks that special collections be taken up at all 133 Long Island parishes.

Long Island doctors are also pitching in. Dr. George Angus of Nassau University Medical Center is organizing a group of doctors to go to Haiti.

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano has also pledged the county?s help.

Anyone seeking information on Americans in Haiti can call the U.S. State Department at 1-888-407-4747.

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