On Tuesday afternoon, Haiti experienced the most powerful earthquake ever recorded on the island. Reports are still coming in, but it is clear that a quake of at least 7.0 magnitude has devastated much of the capital, Port-au-Prince. This disaster comes as a blow of immense consequences for Haiti, the most impoverished country in the Western Hemisphere.
President Obama jumped to action immediately, instructing his national security staff to develop an aggressive, coordinated U.S. response to the tragedy. As Secretary Clinton said, “The United States is offering our full assistance to Haiti and to others in the region. We will be providing both civilian and military disaster relief and humanitarian assistance. And our prayers are with the people who have suffered, their families, and their loved ones.”
Our Embassy in Port-au-Prince is still in the early stages of contacting American citizens through their warden network. Communications are very difficult within Haiti at this time. For those Americans seeking information about loved ones in Haiti, the State Department Operations Center has set up the following number: 1-888-407-4747. You may email inquiries to: Haiti-Earthquake@state.gov.
Governments can do a lot to help Haiti recover from this earthquake. But a disaster of this magnitude requires everybody’s help. Including yours.
To help, simply text “HAITI” to “90999”and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill. Or you can go online to organizations like the Red Cross and Mercy Corps to make a contribution to the disaster relief efforts.
Simply put: Your donation could save lives.
Thank you for being part of the effort to help the people of Haiti recover from this tragedy.