Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Earthquake Strikes Haiti! Thousands Feared Dead in Port-au-Prince

These before-and-after photos of Haiti's presidential palace (the president and his family escaped injury) gives you an idea of the devastation that struck the capital of this already impoverished nation yesterday.

The White House Web site provided the following information:

You can also help immediately by donating to the Red Cross to assist the relief effort. Contribute online to the Red Cross, or donate $10 to be charged to your cell phone bill by texting "HAITI" to "90999." [NOTE: The Wall St. Journal advises donors that this money will not be released until your cell phone bills are paid, which could take 30 to 90 days.] Find more ways to help through the Center for International Disaster Information. This organization has published guidelines for appropriate international disaster donations in English, Spanish, French, Greek, Haitian Creole, Arabic, Indonesian, and Farsi.

Families of Americans living in Haiti are encouraged to contact the State Department at 888-407-4747. The earthquake has disrupted telephone and cellular service, making it difficult for Haitians living in the United States to contact their families.

Catholic Relief Services committed $5 million immediately, and other Catholic Charities groups are raising money for disaster relief. The LDS Church has already sent a shipment of personal hygiene kits and supplies for newborns, and reported that all missionaries serving in that country are safe.

Meanwhile, Pat Robertson, helpful as ever, says in this video clip that the Haitians are cursed and "swore a pact to the devil." White House spokesman Robert Gibbs responded with these words, "It never ceases to amaze me that in times of amazing human suffering somebody says something that can be so utterly stupid." This just in: National Review Online ran a statement from Robertson's organization saying that he had been helping out the Haitians over the past year and just sent a million dollars' worth of medications to that troubled land.

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