Binghamton Mom Holds Out Hope For Haitian Family

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Jan 13, 2010 at 6:18 PM EST

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti is also sending shock waves through the Southern Tier.

The latest death toll estimates hundreds of thousands of people have died.

As Action News Reporter Caitlin Nuclo tells us about one woman desperate to know if her daughter's safe.

"I'm still shaking and tears cannot stop running from my face," said Claire Mirat.

The Binghamton mother is anxiously awaiting news of her loved ones living in Haiti.

Her 19-year-old daughter, Ervely, is visiting relatives there now.

"It's very devastating for me right now, because I'm sitting here wondering how many people that I know are under the rubbles down there," said Claire.

The earthquake hit Tuesday afternoon.

It leveled the capitol, and left hundreds of thousands dead.

Communication networks are wiped out.

"I'm not going to wait for somebody to look for her, but I want to be looking for her because I know where she could be," said Claire.

Which is why Claire plans to be on the next flight out.

But airlines are booked solid.

Until then, she says her faith is helping her stay strong.

"God is not going to forget our people down there. And I know through prayer many things, positive can come to us," she said.

And the local community is also offering their support.

"All I'm doing is urging everyone that can, to come together and help Haiti because they do need our help. If you have nothing, if its only prayer, lets do it," said Dionne Brissett.

"That's where my heart is. I just want to be there right now and start digging in and get people out," said Claire.

She says parts of Haiti lack critical emergency services, like fire and rescue departments.

But Claire knows the language, the area, and the people.

All tools that will help, in a mothers mission, to bring her daughter home safely.

The American Red Cross has pledged a million dollars to the relief effort.

The Southern Tier Chapter is doing it's part to collect for the effort.

The money will help send clean water and food to survivors.

It's sending supplies, like tarps, cooking utensils, and mosquito repellent.

The Haiti Red Cross building was destroyed in the earthquake.

However, it will still be the lead agency in the recovery.

"People can help by making a donation. We can't do anything more for someone at that distance, then help fund the relief agency for the people on the ground doing so," said Cindy Gordineer, CEO of the Southern Tier Chapter of the American Red Cross.

To donate, call 1-800-Red Cross or log onto www.redcross.org

Make sure you target your money to the international relief fund.

The American Red Cross also expects to help re-establish communication networks.

That will help family members in and outside of the country get in contact.

People in the US who are inquiring about US Citizens in Haiti can call the State Department at 1-888-407-4747.

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