Devastating 7.0 Earthquake Hammers Beleagured Island Nation of Haiti
The death toll is rising ralidly. Reports are pouring in concerning the horrid human tragedy associated with this massive natural disaster.Massive outpouring of solidarity begins.
People carry an injured person after an earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010. The largest earthquake ever recorded in the area rocked Haiti on Tuesday. The earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 and was centered about 10 miles (15 kilometers) west of Port-au-Prince.
The quake has since given rise to at least eight aftershocks of 5.0 in magnitude. There are now growing fears of a tsunami.
The Presidential palace, parliament building and the National Cathedral, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Port-au-Prince have all been destroyed.
The death toll is rising ralidly. Horrific reports are pouring in concerning the human tragedy associated with this massive natural disaster.
All land telephones and cell telephones are down in the Capital. Information is slow in being disseminated as a result.
The US State Department is still not sure of the damage to the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince.
President Barack Obama has offered the assistance of the United States. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has communicated US offers of civilian, military and humanitarian assistance.
Many Catholic parishes in the United States have "twinned" with parishes in Haiti and taken a personal concern for assisting the Haitian people, many of whom are Catholics. Calls for prayer have gone out around the Nation and throughout the world.
Bishop Michael R. Cote of the Diocese of Norwich, Connecticut issued a letter immediately upon hearing of the tragedy. In it he said:
"Our prayers tonight are with our brothers and sisters in Haiti who are in harms way of the major earthquake that has hit close to Port au Prince. As we work to learn more through the night of their plight, we hope to make contact with our diocesan mission house, the Norwich Mission House in Tetionville and Hospice St. Joseph in Port au Prince; Our life lines to the Island.
"The Diocese has been on the ground in Haiti faithfully helping the good people of this impoverished Country for over 25 years. We care deeply about their struggle. We are a united family in that concern as we face this disaster. The people of Haiti need our help...and the help of more and more people in our compassionate Country through this time and through the long road to recovery. May God watch over and bring strength to those suffering and those answering the call to help."
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