Governor Deval Patrick today joined elected officials and members of the Haitian community at the State House to commemorate the two year anniversary of the Haitian Earthquake. During the event, Governor Patrick presented a proclamation to Marjorie Brunache, Ministre Conseiller Responsable du Consulate, designating January 12 – February 11, 2012 as Haiti Earthquake Remembrance Month.
“Two years ago, the people of Haiti were struck by an earthquake, which was also felt here in our vibrant Haitian-American community,” said Governor Patrick. “We were all challenged by this natural disaster to rise to the occasion and today we re-commit ourselves to supporting the nation of Haiti and its community in the Commonwealth.”
On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, causing catastrophic damage around the capital city Port-au-Prince and beyond. The Haitian government estimates more than 250,000 fatalities as a result of the earthquake and that thousands have come to the United States seeking refuge.
Following the earthquake, Governor Patrick called for a swift and comprehensive response from Massachusetts that would address the needs in Haiti as well as the needs of the extensive Haitian population in the Commonwealth.
Many state agencies have worked to address the needs of displaced Haitians who have arrived in Massachusetts, including access to food assistance, emergency housing, medical services, immigration assistance and access to schools. Last year, the Massachusetts National Guard deployed the 125th battalion out of Worcester and the 220th detachment out of Bridgewater to Haiti for water purification infrastructure assistance.