NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti has taken thousands of lives. The death toll keeps climbing, currently sitting at more than 2,200. Tens of thousands of people are injured, possibly more.
A Nashville real estate developer saw the devastation in the island country and knew she had to do something.
She spoke to News 2’s Nikki Burdine from Les Cayes.
It was Saturday morning when the massive earthquake rocked the small, remote area of Haiti. Then, just 3 days later, Hurricane Grace hit.
“I can’t imagine being under the rubble praying someone saves me and then 15 inches of rain coming,” says Turner. “It’s still a dire situation when it comes to actually getting peoples’ lives saved. What sucks is even to say what is critical, there are so many patients that need help. We are seeing people have broken arms and broken legs in multiple places, and they’re like ‘nope, they’re not critical.’”
Turner is the founder and CEO of Aerial Development, which is a real estate development firm in Nashville. She also runs Aerial Recovery, a group dedicated to responding to disasters all over the world. When Turner heard about what happened in Haiti, she jumped into action, landing just before Hurricane Grace hit.
“Then the hardest part was all these people wanting to come in and bring help, then the storm made it impossible. We literally got in 20 minutes before the storm,” she says.
Turner has spent the last several days helping recover people from the rubble and taking them to Port Au Prince to get the help they need.
For many who did survive, they have no where to go. More than 30,000 families are now homeless.
Then, late Thursday evening, a landslide hit the area. Turner says people are trapped.
Turner has been to many other natural disasters, but she says this one was probably the hardest. “It is heartbreaking to see babies that have had walls fall on them, and they’re just screaming because there’s no pain medication.”
Turner says she is angry and sad but also motivated to help. Although she is home in Nashville now, she is making plans to head back to Haiti as soon as possible.
If you would like to donate or volunteer with Aerial Recovery Group, click this link to visit their site.