Hattiesburg student affected by Haiti earthquake - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Hattiesburg student affected by Haiti earthquake

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A student at William Carey University in Hattiesburg who lived in Haiti for 13 years scrambled to contact family members Sunday after a devastating earthquake in that country.

Kat Kendall's parents are missionaries, and her family lived in Haiti for thirteen years. She considers the country home. Her family lives about an hour away from hard hit Port au Prince.

"I was able to get a hold of my dad right after the earthquake on Facebook actually," said Kendall. "I saw he was online, and I said, 'Dad are you ok?' and he said, 'yeah.' He was actually kind of frantic. I've never seen my dad like that."

Kendall said the buildings where she grew up are strong and have been built to withstand Hurricanes. However, she said much of the country was not prepared for this kind of disaster.

"My mom and I have talked for years about how if there is a big earthquake, it's going to seriously affect the country," she said. "Because the houses are built on on top of each other, and they are not really built to code or anything like that."

Relief agencies are working to assist disaster victims in Haiti. Kendall encourages the Pine Belt to support those efforts.

Hattiesburg's American Red Cross is a resource for people who want to lend support.

Kendall said she hopes to return to the country she calls home during an upcoming school break so she can help earthquake victims recover from this disaster.

You can make a $10 donation to the Red Cross by texting "Haiti" to "90999."

People can also help out by logging onto http://www.redcross.org

Copyright 2009 WDAM. All rights reserved.

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