NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The death toll in Haiti climbed sharply on Sunday.
Nearly 1,300 people were confirmed dead, a day after the powerful earthquake hit the Caribbean nation. Another 5,700 hundred people were hurt, with thousands of others displaced.READ MORE: Alec Baldwin Was Told Gun Was 'Cold' Before Fatal Movie Set Shooting, Court Records Show
Crews were racing to find survivors, ahead of a tropical depression expected to hit Monday night. The storm could make the devastation even worse, with concerns of flooding and landslides, CBS2’s Cory James reported.
“We have 31 staff in total in Haiti, but two of them we haven’t heard anything from,” Jean Pierre-Louis said.
It is a race against time for Pierre-Louis, founder of CapraCare, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Brooklyn that provides free medical services to people in Haiti.
And that is where Pierre-Louis says two of his staff members are missing after Saturday morning’s deadly earthquake.
“It has been two days now, but we’re trying to stay very positive,” Pierre-Louis said.
That’s hard to do when he is dealing with such devastation.
The people of #Haiti need your help!
You can now bring donations to any NYPD station house to help in the earthquake relief effort.
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) August 15, 2021
Video captured one of Pierre-Louis’ three buildings that collapsed and injured six of his workers.
“There’s leg injuries, arm injuries, forehead injuries. It has been overwhelming,” Pierre-Louis said.
But it has not stopped some of the people on his team from continuing relief efforts in the areas that are hardest hit.
A picture shows two of them carrying a pregnant woman who was trapped under rubble.READ MORE: Suffolk Police: Franklyn Charles, 18, Charged In Crash That Killed Jennifer Figueroa, 30, In Wyandanch
“They still finding their way to still come provide support for the folks in the community. So, that just shows the level of courage of my staff,” Pierre-Louis said.
Haitian-American New York State Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn told CBS2 her district has the largest Haitian population in New York. She said right now her office is helping about 100 people make contact with loved ones on the island.
But limited power there is creating some obstacles.
“We have people who are able to get some connectivity who are over there videotaping or doing live interview. Sometimes, that’s the best we can do,” Hermelyn said.
And people here in the Big Apple are also trying to help. The NYPD is turning all of its precincts into drop-off locations for items like medical supplies, water and clothing.
“We are hopeful,” Pierre-Louis said.
New York City Councilwoman Farah Louis said she was working with people in Haiti to help those here track down missing loved ones.
“We’re doing our due diligence to contact people from other towns and other communities to go out to where the earthquake happened to see if they can find folks for us,” she said.
She said her office is also providing grief counseling and accepting donations of water, PPE and medical supplies. Donations can be dropped off at the Haitian American Caucus, CapraCare and Brooklyn Commons.
Pierre-Louis said while all of the supplies are needed, money donated to organizations like his on the ground could provide faster assistance.
“Because waiting on supplies to be shipped, logistically, it’s not going to help. You have folks who need to eat. They don’t have a kitchen, house,” Pierre-Louis said.
These are trying times for a country that some say cannot catch a break.MORE NEWS: Salami Sticks Sold At Trader Joe's Recalled After Being Linked To Salmonella Outbreak
CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon contributed to this report.