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Whatever happened to… the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

FILE - In this Jan. 30, 2010, file photo, people stand in the rubble of a collapsed building in the aftermath of a massive earthquake in Port-au-Prince.
FILE - In this Jan. 30, 2010, file photo, people stand in the rubble of a collapsed building in the aftermath of a massive earthquake in Port-au-Prince. (AP Photo/Rodrigo And, File)

On this episode of the Global News podcast Whatever happened to…?, journalist Erica Vella revisits the earthquake in Haiti that happened in 2010.

Eleven years ago, Haiti was rocked by a seven-magnitude earthquake that killed, injured and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

Franciscot Auguste was living in the country at the time with his mother and four other siblings.

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He said Jan. 12, 2010, started out like a normal day.

“Everybody dressed up for school. School was pretty good as always. I think like school left out around 4 p.m.,” he said.

“I went home and I was I was laying on my bed, I think doing some work in my little brother. He was sitting on the floor in the living room with one of his friends. They were watching TV when, like, suddenly everything started shaking.”

READ MORE: ‘We’re living that day’: A decade later, Haitians remember devastating 2010 earthquake

Auguste said it took a few moments to realize the shaking he was feeling was an earthquake; he acted immediately and ran outside of the building.

“I ran across the living room and grabbed my brother’s friend’s hand and also pulled my brother and told him, follow me,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Looking back at the 2010 Haiti earthquake a decade later' Looking back at the 2010 Haiti earthquake a decade later
Looking back at the 2010 Haiti earthquake a decade later – Jan 10, 2020

Auguste said 20 seconds after he escaped the three storey building, it came crumbling down and he heard chaos around him.

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“It was a lot of screaming, a lot of yelling. Everyone calling on Jesus because not everybody knew what was going on or not,” he said.

Shock and adrenaline coursed through Auguste; he said he realized he escaped death by seconds. He thought everyone made it out safely, but his brother was still unaccounted for.

READ MORE: Then and now: Haiti marks 5th anniversary of earthquake (2015)

“ I couldn’t see my brother. … For some reason, I thought maybe he ran like a different direction and made it out all right,” he said.

“I started going around the house and around the building, looking for him and calling out for him and couldn’t find him. I started looking out for my for other people that I knew. … I was scared and I was terrified and worried that he hadn’t made it. I was also worried that maybe it was my fault because; I was the one to grab them or I was the older one in the room. I should have probably grabbed them or something, carried them.”

Auguste said his 13-year-old brother, Peterson Auguste, was killed by the earthquake.

“It was definitely a painful day for everybody, you know, just seeing everything that he had built or the people that love stuff that took years and years to build our relationship, take years and years. It just disappeared after like 30 seconds,” he said.

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READ MORE: Haiti 10 years later: Temporary tent city turns into makeshift community for 300,000

In the days after the earthquake international foreign aid began flooding into the country; more than $13-billion was pledged to help rebuild the small Caribbean country.

On this episode of Whatever Happened To…?, Erica Vella finds out what happened to the money that was raised. She also finds out what happened to Franciscot Auguste and how his life changed after the earthquake.

Contact:

Email: erica.vella@globalnews.ca

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