From all reports, yesterday's major earthquake--the strongest in the area in the last 200 years--has disintegrated a country that was barely being held together in the first place.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Haitians piled bodies along the devastated streets of their capital Wednesday after a powerful earthquake crushed thousands of structures, from schools and shacks to theand the U.N. peacekeeping headquarters. Untold numbers were still trapped.
said he believes thousands of people were dead from Tuesday afternoon's magnitude-7.0 quake.
"Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed," Preval told the . "There are a lot of schools that have a lot of dead people in them."
The Roman Catholic archbishop ofwas among the dead, and the head of the was missing.
The international Red Cross said a third of 's 9 million people may need emergency aid and that it would take a day or two for a clear picture of the damage to emerge.
President Barack Obama promised an all-out rescue and humanitarian effort, adding that the U.S. commitment to its hemispheric neighbor will be unwavering.
There are reports that the president has already sent more US troops to the island that Haiti shares with the Dominican Republic, with the Coast Guard having already arrived. Between Hurricane Katrina and the Boxing Day Tsunami, the US military has plenty of experience in disaster rescue and relief.
Civilian agencies are also on the case.World Vision
May God have mercy on these people.
UPDATE: Hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean has had a Haiti relief page for four years, but it appears that the server has been overwhelmed. Keep trying.
Many more relief programs are listed here.
UPDATE: Here's Wyclef's donation page (Yele Haiti).
UPDATE: Food for the Poor Twitters
The nearly 900-foot ship is staffed largely by doctors, nurses and technicians from the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. It has 12 operating rooms and room for 1,000 hospital beds.
From Chuck Simmons on Facebook:
USCG cutters on location. USAF moving to secure airport. CVN Carl Vinson steaming to assist - expected arrival tomorrow.
UPDATE: Visions of Hell.