Brother's Last Words to Haitian-American: 'I'm Going to Die'

"I'm going to die."

Those were the last words Evan Francois heard his brother say on the phone after the largest earthquake in two centuries rocked Haiti on Tuesday.

Francois, 35, a community leader in Homestead, Fla., said he was talking on the phone with his 28-year-old brother, Edner, who lives in Port-au-Prince, when the 7.0-magnitude quake hit — toppling buildings and killing unknown numbers of Haitians.

He said the phone line went dead and he hasn't heard from his brother since — or from scores of other relatives, including his sister, uncle and cousins.

"I have no idea how they're doing right now," Francois said in an interview with

The quake, centered 10 miles west of the capital at a depth of only 5 miles, struck at 4:53 p.m. and was the strongest earthquake to hit the island since 1770. It was felt in the neighboring Dominican Republic and in eastern Cuba.

No death toll has been released, but officials fear it will be in the thousands.

Francois, who has lived in Florida since he was a teenager, said he and other Haitian-Americans planned to meet with elected officials Wednesday to organize aid and support for the devastated region.

Approximately 3,000 Haitian-Americans live in Homestead, according to Mayor Steven C. Bateman — making it one of the largest Haitian communities in the United States.

Francois, along with Bateman and other city council members and volunteers, convened at city hall early Wednesday to devise a plan for shipping supplies to the island nation.

"It's a saddened mood right now," Bateman told "I'm not sure what we can do at this point. We're going to exchange ideas."