Originally Published: Jan 14, 2010 4:17 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
STILLWATER, Oklahoma – The earthquake and subsequent disaster relief in Haiti have hit close to home for Oklahoma State safety Lucien Antoine.
Antoine was born in Cap-Ha?tien in 1985. Cap-Ha?tien is one of the largest cities in Haiti and was 95 miles away from the epicenter of the 7.0 earthquake that hit Tuesday. Countless homes have been destroyed in the city, and the streets are filled with water.
“At first, you didn’t know how many people got hurt,” Antoine said. “After that, when you start watching everything, start seeing the photos and everything, that’s when it really hit me.”
Antoine also at one point lived in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital city that was closest to the epicenter and hit hardest by the earthquake. He still has friends and family that live there, including his uncle and six cousins. The rest of his family still in Haiti lives in Cap-Ha?tien.
“My mom called [the family members in Cap-Ha?tien] and I think they’re okay,” Antoine said. “The one that’s in Port-au-Prince we haven’t heard from yet, but hopefully they’re okay. It’s just kind of crazy waiting to see if my uncle is okay. He has kids and I grew up with one of them.”
Antoine witnessed natural disasters while living in Haiti, but said nothing can compare to what the country is currently experiencing.
“When I was in Haiti, they had a couple of floods and hurricanes but it was never anything that big,” Antoine said. “In 2008, they got hit with about four hurricanes, but it wasn’t as bad as this earthquake.”
After the earthquake hit on Tuesday, the United States was quick to send reinforcements to help search for survivors and help the residents in any way possible. Thousands of troops have already been dispatched, and President Barack Obama has promised a total of $100 million in relief efforts.
“A lot of places are helping, and I think the United State is doing a good job,” Antoine said. “Whenever something bad happens, they always help. I don’t know how much help they can give; whatever they can do, I know they’re going to do a good job.”
Antoine is trying to do his part by donating clothes and items to the relief effort. He added that nothing else about the situation in Haiti is within his control and that all he can do is pray for the well-being of the survivors and the families of those who passed away.
“It hurt, it hurt bad. It still affects me a little bit, but all I’ve got to do is keep praying,” Antoine said. “Everything happens for a reason. I can’t question God when God does something, all I can do is keep praying.”
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