Pras Michel and Wyclef Jean In Touch Since Haiti Earthquake

Friday, January 15, 2010 - 5:00pm

"Fugee" member and Haitian-American Pras Michel has been in touch with band mate and Haitian native Wyclef Jean since the devastating 7.0 earthquake hit the nation Tuesday.

He says he talked to Wyclef the day the roving Ambassador flew home to his ravaged homeland.

Michel says, "I spoke to him when he was leaving, like, briefly for like 20 seconds. He was like, 'I gotta get on the plane, we're leaving now.' That was maybe like, two days ago, three days ago. From what I understand he's coming back today. So him and I are probably going to sit down together, and probably figure out a game plan, you know, figure the situation out."

Michel says he'll also continue to support Wyclef's foundation, Yele Haiti.

Michel says: "Well, I'm involved in efforts as far as supporting Yele Haiti and the contributions that's coming in. I'm basically a foot soldier. I'm just here to serve my country, you know I have two countries, America and Haiti. So whatever Wyclef and Yele Haiti needs from me, I'm here to support."

Michel says he's impressed with the way so many have stepped up to donate to relief efforts. He also says he was lucky enough to reach a close friend who was in Haiti when the earthquake hit.

Michel says, "I think the response is incredible. People are so generous, especially Americans. They just rallied behind Haiti and that gives us hope. And so, what I want to make sure of, with such generosity, is that we take advantage of that. From this point on, the government of Haiti needs to be held accountable. The aid that they get every year, they gotta start building infrastructures. That means hospitals, that means schools, that means roads. It makes no sense why there's no hospitals right now. One collapsed, the other two have been abandoned, there's no medical supplies, there's no water, there's no schools, it makes no sense. So the people who are donating the supplies, they can't even get into the country to help the Haitians. So by the time they get to these people, most of them are going to be dead."

Michel says, "I have close friends, I have constituents, I have family so this is to my heart. This is not just a foreign land to me."

Michel says, "I spoke to a very close friend of mine, the day after it happened, for a couple of hours, and then all communication broke down. I mean, Haiti on its best day, it takes several tries to get to someone, so can you imagine now when there's no form of stability. She told me the whole capital has been flattened, period."

The International Red Cross estimates 45,000 to 50,000 have been killed.