In the wake of Tuesday’s devastating 7.0 earthquake in Haiti, many Haitian-Americans have had a difficult time reaching their loved ones on the island nation. While social-networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have become resources in the efforts to provide aid , they are also being used by many Haitian-Americans who are desperately trying to contact their families.
MTV News visited the Haitian consulate in New York on Thursday and spoke with two sisters about how Facebook had become a tool in their search effort. “It’s a good thing,” Alissa Cadet said. “We have a way, because of Facebook, to communicate with our loved ones. Since we can’t [go] ourselves, we send messages saying, ’Have you seen such and such,’ and some people have gotten answers. This is how we’ve been communicating, and thank God for Facebook.”
Her sister, Melissa, said they hadn’t been successful in locating their loved ones yet, but these stories gave them hope.
“Personally I haven’t [heard] anything from Facebook, but I have friends who have, and they send pictures of their loved ones and they receive an answer. It’s a good thing, because we help each other out,” Melissa said. “It’s unity. In this case, we have to help one another, stick together and be strong.”
The sisters’ friend, Jennifer Noel, said she had yet to hear anything from her mother or little brother.
“All I’ve done so far is to try to call my mom’s phone number, the house, everything. I’ve even tried sending e-mails just in case, but so far nothing. We can’t even find one person to actually tell us, ’Yeah, they are doing OK.’ So right now we’re just waiting, and it’s frustrating and very stressful.”