A day after rushing to Haiti to help with recovery efforts following Tuesday’s devastating 7.0 earthquake, Wyclef Jean told Fox News Channel’s Bill Hemmer that the situation on the ground is dire.
“This is apocalypse,” said Jean during a special report with Bret Baier about the utter destruction of the capital city of Port-Au-Prince, where first responders were struggling to deal with the reported thousands trapped under mounds of rubble from the worst earthquake to hit the impoverished Caribbean nation in two centuries.
“The reality here at the airport has nothing to do with what’s going on on the ground right now,” added Wyclef, who began making urgent pleas for help just hours after the quake struck his native country. “We spent the day picking up dead bodies, all day that’s what we did. There’s so much bodies in the streets that the morgues are filled up, the cemeteries are filled up. So we participated in picking up the bodies and finding a place that we could put the bodies.”
Even Haiti’s president, Rene Preval, who was left homeless after the quake when his two homes were leveled, has not been able to give an estimate of the dead so far. Wyclef told Hemmer, “The count is not 100,000 — there’s at least, has to be four to five hundred thousand people that is about to die … I’m telling you, I’m on the ground. The numbers are high — we’re talking about, we need a state of emergency.”
While aid has been flying in from all over the world to the capital, it has reportedly been slow to get to those in need because of the difficulty of moving the food, water and medicine from the airport to the areas most affected by the disaster. MTV is teaming up with Oscar-winning actor George Clooney for a Haitian relief telethon next Friday (January 22). In the meantime, there are numerous ways you can take part in Haitian relief efforts.
Wyclef made another plea for donations, urging supporters to help raise $1 million a day through his Yele Haiti foundation to help avoid a further calamity. “In four or five days, this whole country is going to be in chaos,” he said. “We are calling for a state of emergency: Please, President Obama, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, we have to do something for this country.”
Wyclef’s non-profit Yele Haiti organization had already raised $1 million between Tuesday and early Thursday morning for relief efforts, with a goal of $1 million per day in the upcoming days. On Thursday, President Obama pledged $100 million in aid to Haiti and has dispatched military personnel and aircraft carriers to the area to help with the search-and-rescue operations. Also on Thursday, former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush issued a joint statement urging assistance for the more than 3 million Haitians affected by the quake. “We are deeply saddened by the devastation and suffering caused by the recent earthquake in Haiti,” wrote the two former U.S. leaders, who have teamed up in their post-White House years for a number of charitable and disaster relief efforts. “The people of Haiti are in our thoughts and prayers. We are pleased to accept President Obama’s request to lead private sector fundraising efforts. In the days and weeks ahead, we will draw attention to the many ways American citizens and businesses can help meet the urgent needs of the Haitian people.
“Americans have a long history of showing compassion and generosity in the wake of tragedy. We thank the American people for rallying to help our neighbors in the Caribbean in their hour of suffering — and throughout the journey of rebuilding their nation.”