Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti Struck by Devastating 7.0 Earthquake

Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, was hit by a 7.0 earthquake shortly before 5pm on Tuesday afternoon.

The epicenter was reported by the U.S. Geological Survey to be only 10 miles west of the capital, Port-au-Prince. Buildings in the capital collapsed, burying occupants under the rubble. Joseph Guyler, a Reuters reporter in the city said, "Everything started shaking, people were screaming, houses started collapsing ... it's total chaos."

ABC reports the quake was felt by people in Jamaica; Quantanamo Bay, Cuba; and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and was followed by two strong aftershocks of magnitudes 5.9 and 5.5. More aftershocks are likely.

A tsunami warning issued by the U.S. National Weather Service was cancelled, but with communications disrupted, reports of deaths and injuries are not complete.

The international relief agency Operation USA is preparing to send medical aid to the Haitian people. You can help with a donation of funds or supplies.

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