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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Hip-hop musician Wyclef Jean, a Haitian with his own aid organization, "Yele Haiti," also sent out an appeal for donations. On his website, he said: "We must think ahead for the aftershock, the people will need food, medicine, shelter, etc."
Former President Clinton, named special United Nations envoy to the Caribbean nation, has been trying to woo investors and tourists back to the nation, which shares Hispaniola Island with the Dominican Republic. He issued a statement Tuesday saying his office would do whatever he could to help the nation recover and rebuild."My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti," he said.
USGS analyst Dale Grant told the AP that today’s temblor is "the largest quake recorded in this area" since 1770. The last major quake was a 6.7 magnitude temblor in 1984.
The earthquake had a depth of five miles, and the USGS said damage and casualties could be substantial. Losses could wreak havoc on Haiti, which is the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, with 70 percent of the population living on less than $2 a day.
The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, put a tsunami warning out for Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and the Bahamas shortly after the quake. The warning was not in effect for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands. The warning was subsequently canceled.
The quake was followed by dozens of aftershocks, including two powerful aftershocks of magnitude 5.9 and magnitude 5.5.
Worldwide, at least 1,783 were killed in earthquakes in 2009. The deadliest occurred in southern Sumatra, Indonesia, with 1,117 killed when the 7.5 magnitude quake hit on Sept. 30, according to the USGS and the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.