Desperation rises as Americans still in Haiti scramble to find ways to escape

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At least 450 U.S. nationals have been evacuated from Haiti since last month, escaping the ongoing political turmoil and violence. But those who remain are now struggling to leave, and their relatives in the U.S. are desperate to see them return home. 

The U.S. State Department is working to airlift more Americans out of Haiti, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that the state had rescued 220 Americans from Haiti since March 20. 

While the evacuations have brought some comfort for those Americans able to flee, many who remain say hope of leaving is slipping away, and they’re scrambling as the chaos closes in around them. Erika Childs Charles, a 42-year-old mother of three who lives in Haiti, said she and her family had relocated several times since early March to avoid the rapidly increasing violence.

“They attacked the airport a couple of times, and then they were actively attacking two police stations close to our home,” Charles said. “The gunfire was right around us. We had to all sleep on the floor in one room of our home to stay away from any stray bullets.”