Minnesota native, USAID dies unexpectedly while responding to Haiti earthquake

Tresja Denysenko, a Minnesota native, died unexpectedly while working with a U.S. disaster assistance team in Haiti.  (USAID)

A Minnesota native died unexpectedly while working on a U.S. disaster assistance team responding to the Haiti earthquake

The U.S. Agency for International Development said Tresja Denysenko died on Thursday. Details of how she died were not released. She leaves behind a husband and a daughter. 

USAID described Denysenko as a "tireless disaster response expert" with the Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance.

"She was a leader, a mentor and a teacher," USAID said in Facebook post. "She was a force for good and a comrade-in-arms who worked long hours beside us on many disasters. She was our friend and our sister. Her extraordinary kindness and passion for the work we do made a difference in the lives of many people around the world, including ours." 

Denysenko first joined USAID in 2005. She responded to many humanitarian emergencies during her career, including the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the West Africa Ebola outbreak, the Venezuela regional crisis and the conflicts in South Sudan and the Tigray region of Ethiopia. 

A devastating 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti on Saturday, leaving 2,189 people dead and more than 12,000 injured. Officials said the earthquake destroyed more than 7,000 homes and damaged more than 12,000, leaving tens of thousands of Haitians homeless.