7.0 earthquake rocks Haiti
Relief agencies have put out calls for donations, and are preparing teams to go to Haiti in the wake of Tuesday's quake. A hospital, the National Palace, and other buildings in Haiti's capital were damaged in the biggest earthquake to hit the island in 200 years.
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Alain Le Roy, the United Nations. peacekeeping chief in New York, told the Associated Press late Tuesday that the headquarters of the 9,000-member Haiti peacekeeping mission and other U.N. installations were seriously damaged."Contacts with the U.N. on the ground have been severely hampered," Le Roy said in a statement, adding: "For the moment, a large number of personnel remain unaccounted for."
Other reports indicated that a major hospital, the National Palace, and many other buildings more than one-story tall had been damaged in the capital city.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told the Associated Press in Washington that embassy personnel were "literally in the dark" after power failed."They reported structures down. They reported a lot of walls down. They did see a number of bodies in the street and on the sidewalk that had been hit by debris. So clearly, there's going to be serious loss of life in this," he said.
All flights into or out of the capital were canceled Tuesday evening. Communication by phone was intermittent at best. But photos and messages did get out from the island nation via Twitter and Facebook. "A friend came from across town.Belair is a broken mess..BNC is down..Berhmann is damaged..a long night ahead..some traffic on Capois," was one of many tweets by Richard Morse, a musician and manager at the Olafson Hotel.
As one of the poorest nation's in the world, Haiti is a place where many relief and aid organizations have experienced personnel on the ground. And many were responding quickly to the calls for donations and assistance. "Initial reports indicate that the quake has caused extensive damage, and we fear that casualties could be widespread,” said Randy Martin, Mercy Corps director of Global Emergency Operation in a statement Tuesday night. “Our team will quickly assess what the most pressing needs are in earthquake-affected areas.”