A massive, 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti near the capital of Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, January 12th. The damage to buildings is extensive and the number of injured or dead is estimated to be in the hundreds, even thousands. World Vision is on the ground rushing emergency supplies to survivors of this catastrophe.
Your gift now will help distribute life-saving relief supplies – including food, clean water, blankets, and tents — to children and families devastated by the earthquake and aftershocks in Haiti.
“We would be very concerned about a quake of this magnitude anywhere in the world, but it is especially devastating in Haiti, where people are acutely vulnerable because of poor infrastructure and extreme poverty,” said Edward Brown, World Vision’s relief director in the United States.
World Vision has worked in Haiti for 30 years and has some 370 staff in country. Please join us in praying for the children and families devastated by the earthquake in Haiti. And please send a generous gift to help them today.
(CNN) -- A major earthquake struck southern Haiti on Tuesday, knocking down buildings and power lines and inflicting what its ambassador to the United States called a catastrophe for the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation.
Several eyewitnesses reported heavy damage and bodies in the streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince, where concrete-block homes line steep hillsides. There was no estimate of the dead and wounded Tuesday evening, but the U.S. State Department has been told to expect "serious loss of life," department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters in Washington.
"The only thing I can do now is pray and hope for the best," the ambassador, Raymond Alcide Joseph, told CNN.
Pictures sent to CNN's iReport show homes and small businesses in Haiti that have collapsed.
The magnitude 7.0 quake -- the most powerful to hit Haiti in a century -- struck shortly before 5 p.m. and was centered about 10 miles (15 kilometers) southwest of Port-au-Prince, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. It could be felt strongly in eastern Cuba, more than 200 miles away, witnesses said.
Mike Godfrey, an American contractor working for the U.S. Agency for International Development, said "a huge plume of dust and smoke rose up over the city" within minutes of the quake -- "a blanket that completely covered the city and obscured it for about 20 minutes."
Witnesses reported damaged buildings throughout the capital, including the president's residence and century-old homes nearby, and The Associated Press reported that a hospital collapsed. President Rene Preval is safe, Joseph said, but there was no estimate of the dead and wounded Tuesday evening.
He said an official of his government told him houses had crumbled "on the right side of the street and the left side of the street."
"He said it is a catastrophe of major proportions," Joseph said.
Frank Williams, the Haitian director of the relief agency World Vision International, said the quake left people "pretty much screaming" all around Port-au-Prince. He said the agency's building shook for about 35 seconds, "and portions of things on the building fell off."
"None of our staff were injured, but lots of walls are falling down," Williams said. "Many of our staff have tried to leave, but were unsuccessful because the walls from buildings and private residences are falling into the streets, so that it has pretty much blocked significantly most of the traffic."
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