By Bobeth Yates

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The South Florida Haitian community is desperate to hear from their loved ones back home after a powerful 7.2 earthquake rocked Haiti Saturday morning, killing hundreds.

“There are many people dead,” said former South Florida resident Anel Constant, as he described the powerful earthquake that struck the southwest portion of the country.

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In a video sent to us by CBS4 viewers, you can see footage of some of the early casualties.

Those we spoke to say the devastation is reminiscent of the earthquake that hit Port-Au-Prince 11 years ago.

“Right now, the situation is fluid. We still do not know how many fatalities. We know that there are many, many, many fatalities, including a former senator,” said Marleine Bastien, executive director of Family Action Network Movement, a Haitian advocate organization.

In addition to the fatalities, dozen of buildings were completely demolished.

“Where I’m from everything is destroyed,” said Marie Sabin-Jolus, a South Florida resident who used to live in the area impacted by the earthquake.

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Those with friends and family in the country aren’t just saddened by the devastation, they also have hope.

“I’m still in shock. The one thing I know is I want the Haitians over there to know that they’re not alone. The world is with Haiti,” said one Haitian American.

Those like Constant say that help can’t come soon enough.

“The building where I live now, there’s nothing,” added Constant.

And as if things are not bad enough the latest track has Tropical Storm Grace is headed straight to Haiti.

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Click here if you would like to donate to a fund dedicated to helping the people affected by this earthquake.