Arcade Fire singer urges ‘support and solidarity’ for earthquake-stricken Haiti

Regine Chassagne's parents emigrated from the country beforeshe was born

Arcade Fire‘s Regine Chassagne has spoken about the earthquake in Haiti, the country her parents emigrated from to Canada before she was born.

In an article for The Observer, the singer and multi-instrumentalist says that the world needs to show its “support and solidarity” for the country after Tuesday’s (January 12) 7.0 quake near Port-au-Prince caused widespread chaos and devastation, with thousands feared dead.

Chassagne also reaffirmed her support for Partners In Health, a non-profit corporation operating in the country, as she and her bandmate and husband Win Butler did last week when posting a message on the band’s official website asking for fans to donate to the earthquake appeal.

The singer also admitted the news had left her stating that “in my heart, it’s the end of the world”.

She explained: “I am mourning people I know. People I don’t know. People who are still trapped under rubble and won’t be rescued in time. I can’t help it.

“Such emotion came over me. My breath stopped. My heart sank and went straight into panic mode. I knew right away that the whole city is in no way built to resist this kind of assault and that this meant that thousands were under rubble. I saw it straight away.

“I ran downstairs and turned on the television. It was true. Tears came rushing right to my eyes and I let out a cry, as if I had just heard that everybody I love had died. The reality, unfortunately, is much worse. Although everything around me is peaceful, I have been in an internal state of emergency for days. My house is quiet, but I forget to eat (food is tasteless). I forget to sleep. I’m on the phone, on email, non-stop. I’m nearly not moving, but my pulse is still fast. I forget who I talked to and who I told what. I leave the house without my bag, my keys. I cannot rest.”

Chassagne, whose song ‘Haiti’ on Arcade Fire‘s 2005 album ‘Funeral’ paid homage to her roots, pleaded with whoever was reading to support Haiti in its time of need.

She said: “Haiti must be rebuilt. Ultimately, we need to treat Haiti with compassion and respect and make sure that the country gets back on its feet once and for all. The west has funded truly corrupt governments in the past. Right now, in Haiti, there is a democratically elected government. Impossibly weak, but standing.”

Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis have both also urged people to donate to help Haiti.