A Wisconsin man evacuated from Haiti is still trying to contact friends in that earthquake-stricken nation. Pat O’Malley owns the Kilkarney Hills golf course in River Falls. For nearly 20 years, O’Malley has worked with a charitable group which has built homes and schools in a remote part of Haiti. O’Malley had just landed at the Port au Prince airport with truck parts and other supplies when the earthquake hit. He says he was lucky to be outside, but that the truck he was riding in jumped and slid during the tremors. From a distance, he could see the smoke and dust from collapsing buildings and thought at first there was a big fire or maybe even a riot.
O’Malley was evacuated a day after the earthquake and now is trying to find out whether the people he worked with survived the earthquake. He’s hoping to return this week with relief supplies and to check on a farm growing jatropha, a plant which could become a source of heating and diesel fuel. O’Malley says Haiti needs help now, but also needs some kind of longterm economic development program to reduce the poverty so endemic to that island.
Jeff Petersen, WIXK
AUDIO Jeff Petersen reports: (1:15 MP3) AUDIO: Jeff Petersen reports (1:15 MP3)