As Digby reports:
UN Dispatch has twitter feeds and other social networking links following the story. Hotels are reportedly collapsed, hospitals are destroyed and god only knows what has happened to the make-shift dwellings that house so many residents. It just couldn't happen to a poorer, less fortunate place.Simon Romero and Mark Lacey report at the NYT:
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — A fierce earthquake struck Haiti late Tuesday afternoon, causing a crowded hospital to collapse, leveling countless shantytown dwellings and bringing even more suffering to a nation that was already the hemisphere’s poorest and most disaster-prone.UPDATE:
The earthquake, the worst in the region in more than 200 years, left the country in a shambles. As night fell in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital, fires burned near the shoreline downtown, but otherwise the city fell into darkness. The electricity was out, telephones were not working and relief workers struggled to make their way through streets blocked by rubble.
In the chaos, it was not possible for officials to determine how many people had been killed and injured, but they warned that the casualties could be substantial.
Episcopal Relief and Development is collecting donations for relief. You may donate here.
Dallasdoc has a post up at Daily Kos with links to lots of ways we can help the people of Haiti following the Richter 7.0 quake just outside Port-au-Prince.
Compassionate Savior, behold your stricken children in Haiti, strengthen those who bend their efforts to rescue the trapped, heal the injured, comfort the dying, and console the sorrowful. Guide those who channel aid and assistance that they may do so efficiently and effectively. Speed and sustain all efforts to bring relief. May your holy angels guide, guard, and defend the defenseless. All this we ask for your tender mercy's sake. Amen.
O merciful Father, who hast taught us in thy holy Word that thou dost not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men: Look with pity upon the sorrows of thy servants for whom our prayers are offered. Remember them, O Lord, in mercy, nourish their souls with patience, comfort them with a sense of thy goodness, lift up thy countenance upon them, and give them peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Map from The New York Times