MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Rescue and recovery efforts continue in Haiti after yet another earthquake devastated the country.
But North Miami Mayor Philippe Bien-Aime says devastation will be felt by people who are thousands of miles from the island.READ MORE: French Forces Kill ISIS Leader Believed To Be Responsible For Sgt. La David Johnson’s Death
“I think the 7.2 earthquake is gonna have a lot of effects on the Haitian-American living here,” said Bien-Aime.
He went on to say those effects include an unexpected financial impact for many Haitians living in South Florida.
“For the first generation of Haitian-Americans who’ve been making $2, $3 an hour working at hotels, restaurants, in the farms, those people right now, they are living on a retirement paycheck,” he said. “But they can’t make a living with that paycheck, so what they did is use their 401k, their savings, whatever they have and they built something back home.”READ MORE: COVID Booster Shot Confusion Ahead Of FDA Advisory Committee Meeting
Bien-Aime is among the Floridians who spent thousands to build a property in his home country.
But according to Haitian officials, the 7.2 magnitude earthquake destroyed more than 7,000 homes and damaged nearly 5,000 more. And with many of those properties built by Floridians, the impacts will soon hit wallets locally.
“Over 50% of the building in Haiti, especially the countryside, have been built by the diaspora. That means people who’ve been living here,” said Bien-Aime, who went on to add most of those properties are being used by their families but eventually were meant for Haitian-Americans to retire back home.
That now means many of them will have to start over from scratch with less resources than before.MORE NEWS: Rodney Rodriguez, Driver In High-Speed Crash That Killed 3, Finally Booked Into Jail
“So you can see the impact not only in Haiti, but right here in North Miami, in South Florida” said Bien-Aime.