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Service Held To Mark 1st Anniversary Of Haiti Earthquake

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Haiti rescue

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake that literally reduced much of Haiti to rubble.   Overflow crowds gathered for services to mark the day the country will never forget.  The earthquake rocked the already impoverished nation, killing some 230,000 people and leaving a million and a half homeless.

Adam May has more on a local service for the victims.

One year after a powerful earthquake hit Haiti, two Marylanders are reliving their brush with death.

“We do health work in Haiti, and we were there to meet partners at the Ministry of Health,” said Anne Vargese.

“There were six of us crossing the lobby at the same time when the whole earthquake struck, five of us got trapped in a space,” said Rick Santos.

That space was no bigger than a car and slowly collapsed over three days.  Two colleagues were hurt so badly, they eventually died.

“If for some reason the earthquake would have struck a second later…I would have been dead,” Santos said.

“It’s bittersweet to know that we were rescued, but so many more remain in Haiti that suffer,” Vargese said.

Hundreds of thousands Haitians still live in tents.

“We have to start looking at the longer term recovery and at this moment, it’s stalled,” Santos said.

“I’m forever changed by this experience and feel that my commitment to Haiti is lifelong now,” Vargese said.

Santos and Vargese are both planning to go back to Haiti in the next few months so they can continue protecting Haitians against tropical diseases.

After the earthquake, Americans pledged $2 billion to help Haiti.

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