HaitiPartners.org founders safe in Haiti after major aftershock

Update: Thursday, 7:20 a.m.

HAITI — HaitiPartners.org’s co-founder John Engle and his family are safe after yesterday’s 5.9 aftershock ripped through the country.

“It shook our house and I jumped out of bed and was just grabbing kids and waking up my wife to run out and then it stopped,” Engle said in a e-mail to VeroNews.com. “We’re well thanks.”

He and his family plan to return home from Haiti sometime next week and leave again for the devasted country soon after that, he said.

The Engles live in Vero Beach, on the barrier island, and had gone to Haiti before the Jan. 12 7.0 magnitude rocked Haiti.

On Tuesday, Kent Annan, the other founder of the volunteer group, arrived in Haiti to assist Engle in providing relief to Haitians.

They have been using YouTube to update their video blog on HaitiPartners.org, giving viewers a first-hand look at the crisis in Haiti.

Annan brought with him $10,000 cash that was to be distributed to various people and groups in Haiti to assist in purchasing supplies, Engle said in a video blog entry posted Tuesday. They explain in the video that the banks are closed, making it all but impossible for people to buy food and other supplies in areas where relief has not yet arrived.

“It feels like a privileged position we are in,” Annan says, being in a position to pass along the compassion and assistance people back home have sent to Haiti.

Wednesday’s aftershock, the first in two days, came at 6:03 a.m. eastern time. It was 6.2 miles deep and about 35 miles west-south-west of Port-Au-Prince, where the initial earthquake struck on Jan. 12. The U.S. Geological Survey’s Web site has reported the aftershock’s magnitude of 5.9, though world media outlets reported it as 6.1.

Media networks have reported that officials in Haiti are concerned that the aftershock could have closed off areas where survivors were still trapped, sealing them off from possible rescue.

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