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Naomi Osaka has vowed to donate her earnings from this week’s Western & Southern Open toward earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.
Osaka’s father is from Haiti.
A 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the country on Saturday morning, killing at least 1,297 people, leaving 5,700 more injured.
“Really hurts to see all the devastation that’s going on in Haiti, and I feel like we really can’t catch a break,” Osaka wrote on Twitter. “I’m about to play a tournament this week and I’ll give all the prize money to relief efforts for Haiti. I know our ancestors blood is strong we’ll keep rising.”
Osaka has always been proud of her Haitian-Japanese roots.
“I grew up surrounded by both Haitian and Japanese culture,” Naomi told The New York Times in 2018. “My dad thought that since I grew up around my mom and I have a lot of Japanese relatives. I don’t necessarily feel like I’m American. I wouldn’t know what that feels like.”
Saturday’s earthquake was reportedly twice as strong as the earthquake which hit the island in 2010. Haiti is still recovering from that quake, which killed 200,000 and injured 300,000.
“When it comes to medical needs, this is our biggest urgency. We have started to send medications and medical personnel to the facilities that are affected,” Prime Minister Ariel Henry said. “For the people who need urgent special care, we have evacuated a certain number of them, and we will evacuate some more today and tomorrow.”
The quake devastated 13,694 homes and damaged more than 13,785, officials from the civil protection service said.
“We’re concerned that this earthquake is just one more crisis on top of what the country is already facing — including the worsening political stalemate after the president’s assassination, Covid and food insecurity,” Jean-Wickens Merone, a spokesman with World Vision Haiti, said in a statement per CNN.