Family Survives Quakes in Haiti and Chile

Let’s hope they don’t move to New York: A Haitian family lived through the devastating earthquake there only to experience the same earth-rattling in their new home in Chile. The Desarmes were in Port-au-Prince January 12 when the massive quake leveled much of the city, killing some 230,000. The family took refuge from the Haitian chaos two weeks later, joining their eldest son just south of Santiago. Just over a month later, one of the most powerful quakes ever recorded shook Chile. Fortunately, the entire Desarmes family survived both incidents, but they’re so shaken they now sleep outside in the garden. "My God, I left my country and I didn't die, but I'm going to die here!" Seraphin Philomene, a cousin, 21, said. The son, Pierre Desarmes, who is the lead singer of a popular reggaeton band, used contacts at the Chilean embassy in the Haitian capital to get his family out. "When the aftershocks come, they refuse to stay in the house," Desarmes said. "I have to talk to them all day long telling them: `There are no problems, it's a country that's prepared for earthquakes, it'll pass, it's not so bad.' But they don't hear me. Psychologically for them, they're still really affected by it."