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Haiti earthquake: News updates

  • Haiti
  • Earthquakes
  • Port-au-Prince

Look here for news updates on the aftermath of a 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti. All times are Haiti local time, which is the same as Eastern Standard Time in the U.S. and five hours behind GMT.

10:24 p.m. -- An Icelandic search-and-rescue team has freed a woman who was entombed -- uninjured -- for 50 hours in the ruins of the Caribbean Market in Port-au-Prince, CNN's Gary Tuchman reports. The team, having heard her voice, had been trying to reach her for about 24 hours. The team rescued at least one other person there; many other people were killed as a result of the building's collapse.

10:11 p.m. -- Video Video: People sleeping outside in Port-au-Prince.

9:52 p.m. -- The U.S. Air Force, which arrived at Port-au-Prince's airport last night to re-establish air-traffic control there, is trying to make sure planes flying into the airport arrive with enough fuel to fly out. The airport, which is crucial for quick delivery of aid, is having refueling difficulties: At one point Thursday, 44 planes were parked at the airport, but only two fuel trucks were available to refuel the planes, Air Force Lt. Col. Brett Nelson said.

9:35 p.m. -- Dave Toycen, president of charity World Vision Canada, speaking to CNN's "Larry King Live" from Port-au-Prince, says people in Haiti "aren't getting the help that they need," citing capacity issues at Port-au-Prince's airport and broken and blocked roads.

8:45 p.m. -- The Canadian government will look into easing the country's immigration process in the wake of Tuesday's earthquake in Haiti, Prime Minister Stephen Harper tells reporters in Canada's capital.

8:33 p.m. -- American Express, MasterCard and Visa say they will waive transaction fees when people use credit cards to donate to charities helping in Haiti, according to CNN's Jessica Yellin. Any transaction fees already collected in those transactions will be given to the charities, the credit card companies say.

8:20 p.m. -- The FAA is again giving takeoff clearances for U.S. planes bound for Haiti with relief workers and supplies, but it is cautioning that planes have been in holding patterns off Haiti "in excess of three hours," CNN's Mike Ahlers reports. Earlier Thursday, the FAA stopped giving clearances because Port-au-Prince's small airport was packed.

8:07 p.m. -- The commander of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Forward says crew members were "amazed" by the destruction they saw when they arrived in Haiti. Watch video Video

7:49 p.m. -- A group of men has freed an 11-year-old girl who was trapped in her Port-au-Prince home, CNN's Ivan Watson reports. (See 4:09 and 3:26 p.m. entries.) Using an electric saw powered by a generator, the men cut a metal beam that was pinning her right leg. The leg is badly wounded, and the girl has been taken to a first-aid center. People plan to eventually take her to a more advanced medical facility outside Port-au-Prince.

7:20 p.m. -- George Clooney and other celebrities will take part in a Haiti telethon to be shown on all MTV networks on January 22, according to

7:15 p.m. -- The Haitian man who was rescued from the rubble of a five-story Port-au-Prince building (see 3:10 p.m.) is Jean Mackenle Verpre, CNN's Arthur Brice reports. His rescuers included his father and brother, using a chisel and an acetylene torch. A woman's voice can still be heard there, and people are trying to rescue her.

6:40 p.m. -- "Heroes" actor Jimmy Jean-Louis, who yesterday was trying to learn whether his elderly parents in Haiti were OK, says he's talked to his mother and learned his father also survived. They are sleeping outdoors for fear that their damaged home is not safe, he says. Read

6:24 p.m. -- Raymond Joseph, the Haitian ambassador to the United States, says that although he's been in contact with some officials in his government since Tuesday's quake, he has not been able to contact a single government minister.

6:13 p.m. -- More than 300 U.S. military personnel are in Haiti now, helping the aid effort, according to military officials. More than 5,000 are expected there by early next week, including 3,000 soldiers and 2,200 Marines, the officials say.

6:04 p.m. -- The U.S. government has identified a U.S. citizen who was killed in Tuesday's earthquake: Victoria DeLong, a cultural affairs officer from the State Department. The longtime State Department employee had been in Haiti for one year, and died in her home in Port-au-Prince, CNN's Jill Dougherty reported.

5:50 p.m. -- A Brazilian doctor whose work in Haiti earned her comparisons to Mother Teresa was killed in Tuesday's earthquake. Zilda Arns Neumann, 75, founded a charity providing education and aid to children, pregnant women, and families in Haiti. She was a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Read

5:45 p.m. -- The American Red Cross's efforts to get donations via text messages has raised $5 million for Haiti as of 5 p.m., reports. That exceeds the nearly $4 million that was donated to all charities by mobile texts in all of 2009, a Red Cross spokeswoman says. Read

5:23 p.m. -- President Obama tells U.S. House Democrats at a retreat that he "will not put up with any excuses for us not doing the very best in this time of tragedy" in Haiti. The initial $100 million in aid to Haiti he announced earlier Thursday will be "for the basics" like life-saving equipment and food, and the U.S.'s investment will grow as Haiti rebuilds, Obama said.

5:10 p.m. -- Although aid has come into Port-au-Prince's airport, "it's not getting out, because of the [blocked and damaged] road system," said Raymond Joseph, Haitian ambassador to the United States, on CNN's "Amanpour." He said he hoped the United States and other nations would bring in equipment to help clear the roads.

5:02 p.m. -- P.J. Crowley, U.S. State Department spokesman, says U.S. military air traffic controllers are running the Port-au-Prince airport through an agreement with the Haitian government. The Haitian government still is in charge of its airspace, CNN's Jill Dougherty reports.

4:52 p.m. -- Donations via text message raised $4 million for the American Red Cross's Haiti relief efforts as of noon Thursday, reports. The Red Cross has said people can text "HAITI" to 90999 to donate $10. Read

4:35 p.m. -- Kate Ramsey, a Caribbean scholar at the University of Miami, says that the "pact to the devil" that evangelical Christian Pat Robertson suggested led to Tuesday's earthquake is a 19th century "fabrication" meant to discredit its slave rebellion and Voodoo religion.

4:25 p.m. -- Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore tells CNN he thinks the U.S. military could have arrived in Haiti 24 hours earlier than it did. "They're on the ground now, and they have a brigade en route and that's going to make a big difference," said Honore, who took charge in New Orleans after 2005's Hurricane Katrina. Read

4:16 p.m. -- A video obtained by CBS News shows buildings collapse Video as Tuesday's quake happened.

4:09 p.m. -- In this video Video, CNN's Ivan Watson reports on the 11-year-old girl whose right leg is pinned in her Port-au-Prince home. Rescuers are trying to cut the concrete pinning her leg, but the action is causing her pain, complicating the rescue effort.

4:05 p.m. -- Benjamin Larson, the 25-year-old Iowa seminary student believed killed in Haiti, was from LaCrosse, Wisconsin, according to a Minnesota church where his mother is pastor. He, his wife and cousin were at a boys' home in Port-au-Prince when the building collapsed; the wife and cousin escaped, the church says. Read

3:58 p.m. -- In the rubble of the five-story school building where a man was rescued in Port-au-Prince earlier this afternoon, rescuers are hearing other voices. Children and teachers are believed to be trapped inside. Read

3:26 p.m. -- The 11-year-old girl described in the previous entry was discovered today -- two days after the earthquake -- trapped in her Port-au-Prince home. The rescuers contemplated cutting off her leg to free her -- they had anesthetics -- but worried they had no blood for a transfusion. About 30 people were thought to be buried in the building. Read

3:18 p.m. -- A group of non-professional rescuers is trying to free an 11-year-old girl whose right leg is trapped in a crumbled structure in Port-au-Prince, CNN's Ivan Watson says. Her arms are free and she is eating food the rescuers are giving her, but freeing the leg has proved difficult without heavy-duty equipment.

3:10 p.m. -- An impromptu group of rescuers with chisels and a blowtorch has rescued a man who was pinned under the rubble of a five-story school building in Port-au-Prince, CNN's Susan Candiotti reports. The group had been trying to reach the man since Wednesday.

3:02 p.m. -- Lindy Lincoln, a program officer for the American Red Cross, says Tuesday's earthquake destroyed about 10 percent of houses in Port-au-Prince -- dwellings of about 200,000 people.

2:09 p.m. -- A fundraising campaign done solely through text messages and networking sites like Twitter and Facebook has raised more than $3 million for the Red Cross's relief work in Haiti.

1:47 p.m. -- Airlines are organizing relief flights and offering incentives to customers who donate to aid organizations.

1:35 p.m. -- The Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, announced that student Benjamin Larson died in Haiti. There was no official confirmation of Larson's death from Haiti.

1:12 p.m. -- The pier used for delivery of cargo to Port-au-Prince by ship was "completely compromised" by Tuesday's earthquake, said CNN's Eric Marrapodi. Three ships filled with medical supplies, food, clothing and water were turned away, he said.

12:55 p.m. -- Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have agreed to help the Obama administration's efforts to help bring swift aid to Haiti, according to two officials familiar with the discussions. The two former presidents will reprise the role that Clinton and Bush's father played after the 2004 tsunami, and are expected to tape public service announcements and eventually travel to Haiti, according to the officials.

12:23 p.m. -- FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown says the Haitian government is not accepting incoming flights because ramp space at the Port au Prince airport is full and no fuel is available. The FAA isn't giving take-off clearances for Haiti-bound flights until space becomes available. There are 10 civilian and and one military aircraft in a holding pattern, waiting to get into Port-au-Prince.

12:15 p.m. -- Within 48 hours, 400 French civil guard and security personnel will be in Haiti, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Thursday. He said the French army is sending military ships to the region, as well as a hospital boat.

12:02 p.m. -- President Obama pledges $100 million in relief aid to Haiti.

11:45 a.m. -- "The major thing is that help is starting to arrive, but we have a problem with the roads," Haitian Ambassador to the United States Raymond Joseph told CNN Thursday. "Now we are asking for help from the U.S. government to clear the roads, so ... the Marines are bringing heavy equipment."

11:13 a.m. -- The death toll of United Nations personnel, including military and police officers, stands at 22, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. About 150 U.N. staff members remain unaccounted for.

11:06 a.m. -- The State Department confirmed the first U.S. fatality from the Haiti earthquake, but the victim was not identified because family had not been notified.

11:06 a.m. -- The U.S. has evacuated 160 Americans in the last 24 hours, and 370 others are registered to leave Thursday, according to the State Department. Most are being flown to the Dominican Republic, but the injured are being taken to the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

10:39 a.m. -- The Fairfax County, Virginia, Urban Search and Rescue team rescued security officer Tarmo Joveer of Estonia from the rubble of the U.N. mission headquarters Thursday.

10:30 a.m. -- Two students at Lynn University in Florida, Melissa Elliott and Thomas Schloemer, both from Wisconsin, have been located alive in Haiti.

10:16 a.m. -- President Obama said to Haitians from the White House, "You will not be forsaken. You will not be forgotten."

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10:12 a.m. -- President Obama said Thursday that the U.S. military has secured Haiti's main airport, which can now receive relief workers.

9:51 a.m. -- Some members of the Haitian parliament are still unaccounted for, as are as many as 150 people at the collapsed five-story headquarters of the U.N. mission in Port-au-Prince.

9:45 a.m. -- Contingents of U.S. experts from agencies and the military began touching down in Haiti on Thursday.

8:31 a.m. -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States is providing a communications network to shore up the battered Haitian government infrastructure. "Once we can get communications up so we can tell people where to go, what kind of help they can expect, we'll be able to better manage the crisis," Clinton said on CNN's "American Morning."

8:26 a.m. -- Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, are to begin leaving for Haiti Thursday, a spokesman for the division told CNN. The first of about 3,500 paratroopers will board C-17 aircraft from Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina, and are expected to arrive in Haiti before nightfall.

8:17 a.m. -- By the end of Thursday, a total of five Spanish aid planes are due to land at the Haitian capital, carrying humanitarian aid and rescue and medical personnel. Spain has a logistical base stocked with disaster relief supplies at a hangar near the airport in Panama City, Panama. Spain has offered use of the base to the other 26 European Union member nations for the relief effort in Haiti.

8:02 a.m. -- Spanish agencies are preparing to help the large numbers of Haitians who are fleeing the earthquake devastation by heading to the border with the Dominican Republic, said Soraya Rodriguez, Spain's secretary of state for international cooperation. "We are going to have to take care of them with medical help and food," she said.

6:50 a.m. -- Haitian airspace was opened Thursday to charitable organizations, a Red Cross official said. The airspace had been closed to charitable organizations Wednesday, said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse, an organization that is planning to send charter planes loaded with supplies to Haiti Thursday morning.

6:45 a.m. -- A four-member rescue team from Israel was scheduled to arrive Thursday morning, followed by two more jets carrying a field hospital and 220 rescue and hospital workers.

6:42 a.m. -- A 60-member rescue team with three sniffer dogs arrived from China on Thursday, the official news agency Xinhua reported. Taiwan also sent a team of 23 rescuers and two dogs late Wednesday, according to its Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

6:30 a.m. -- Chile was sending 20 doctors, a rescue team, 12 tons of medical supplies, food and 3 tons of medicine to Haiti on Thursday morning, President Michelle Bachelet said.

4:09 a.m. on January 14, 2010 -- Doctors, medicine and more rescuers were scheduled to land in Haiti on Thursday as nation after nation pledged to help the earthquake-battered country.

10:49 p.m. -- The Argentine Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the Argentine Mobile Military Hospital -- which they say is the only hospital functioning in Port-au-Prince -- has treated more than 800 people. Argentine Armed Forces helicopters are helping evacuate the "gravely injured" people to Santo Domingo, in the neighboring Dominican Republic. Argentina also plans to send an airplane with aid to the area, the statement said.

10:42 p.m. -- CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta, who is reporting from Haiti, wrote on his Twitter feed: "what i have seen here in #haiti, i have never seen before. while i hate to say this, it seems somewhat hopeless. bodies still in the streets" Follow Sanjay Gupta's reporting from Haiti through his Twitter feed.

9:54 p.m. -- The people of Jacmel, Haiti, are lining the streets, setting tires on fire to light up a town that has been reduced to rubble in many parts and is without power. The flames are all that illuminate what remains of this town on the southern coast of Haiti, about 25 miles from the capital Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

9:47 p.m. -- At least 16 peacekeepers -- 11 Brazilians, three Jordanians, one Argentine and one Chadian -- working with the U.N. mission in Haiti were reported dead Wednesday afternoon, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

9:45 p.m. -- The New York Yankees announced a donation of $500,000 in support of rescue and relief efforts.

9:38 p.m. -- Video images captured just moments after the earthquake in Haiti show dust-covered survivors rushing through the streets, yelling in terror. Other trapped in buildings are seen punching out debris and bricks, and shouting for help and trying to squeeze themselves out through cracks in the structures.

9:00 p.m. -- The Dominican Republic was the first country to give aid to Haiti in the aftermath of Tuesday's devastating earthquake.

8:57 p.m. --
"The hospitals themselves, the destination of those patients who might survive, they're nonexistent or have a terrible infrastructure," Gupta said.

8:54 p.m. -- "Simply getting through the streets to collect the dead bodies is seemingly an impossible task," Gupta reports from the capital, where shooting could be heard in the background. "There's hardly any heavy machinery to try and dig through the rubble -- people are doing it by hand."

8:53 p.m. -- CNN's Sanjay Gupta reports hearing gunfire in the streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, as people stay on the streets, fearing aftershocks.

8:40 p.m. -- Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, said he is organizing a congressional delegation visit to Haiti. Members will be leaving "as soon as we can," he said, adding that he expects "a large cross-section of members, even Republicans."

8:37 p.m. -- Air space is not open to charitable organizations.

8:36 p.m. -- A unit of U.S. Air Force Special Operations Forces left Hurlburt Field in Florida, with the unit including airmen, search-and-rescue experts and equipment to set up temporary air traffic control systems.

8:32 p.m -- 16 members of the Brazilian-led peacekeeping force deployed in Haiti are confirmed dead, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says.

8:31 p.m. -- As many as 150 members of the U.N. mission in Haiti remained unaccounted for, U.N. officials say.

8:29 p.m. -- One of two U.S. miltary planes carrying a 30-man assessment team arrived at Port-au-Prince airport about 5:30 pm ET. The team will assess what Haiti needs to cope with the immediate aftermath of this disaster.

8:03 p.m. -- "I've seen people walking with coffins over their heads," Cooper reports.

8:02 p.m. -- Anderson Cooper reports that there are people digging with their hands on every street corner. One woman just found alive.

7:50 p.m. -- The Jolie-Pitt Foundation announced it would contribute $1 million to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières' (MSF) emergency medical operations responding to the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12. "It is incredibly horrible to see a catastrophe of this size hit a people who have been suffering from extreme poverty, violence and unrest for so many decades," said Angelina Jolie.

7:39 p.m. -- The coordinator for U.S. assistance to Haiti in the aftermath of Tuesday's earthquake says the entire government is marshaling a massive response, with the immediate goal of saving as many lives as possible within the next 72 hours. "We are working aggressively and in a highly coordinated way, across the federal government, to bring all of the assets and capacities we have to bear to quickly and effectively provide as much assistance as possible," said Rajiv Shah, administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

7:31 p.m. -- "We need medicine. We need medical help in general," Haitian President Rene Preval told CNN. "Some of the hospitals, they collapsed. The hospitals, they are full and they put people in the outside the hospital. So we need some hospitals, some medicine and some doctors."

7:15 p.m. -- Former U.S. President and U.N. Special Envoy to Haiti Bill Clinton, who in 1975 honeymooned in Haiti with the current secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, urged people to donate to

7:11 p.m. -- Under a U.S. State Department program, individuals with U.S. cell phones can donate $10 to the Red Cross by texting "Haiti" to 90999. The State Department said Wednesday afternoon that the campaign had received nearly 83,000 hits.

6:43 p.m. -- Iceland is sending a 37-man search-and-rescue team and offered to help evacuate foreign nationals, its foreign ministry said. Authorities in the United States, Sweden and Denmark have already accepted the offer.

6:41 p.m. -- Americans trying to locate family members in Haiti should contact the State Department at 888-407-4747.

6:39 p.m. -- "The major need is for search and rescue. We have enormous numbers of people trapped under the rubble," United Nations' Undersecretary for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes told CNN's Christiane Amanpour. He added, "There's a big need for medical teams, medical facilities... "We need to get that on the ground very quickly."

6:36 p.m. -- Airlines are uncertain about when commercial service to disaster-ravaged Haiti will resume.

6:31 p.m. -- Pat Robertson, the evangelical Christian who once suggested God was punishing Americans with Hurricane Katrina, says a "pact to the devil" brought on the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

6:29 p.m. -- Washington Post: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has decided to cancel the remainder of her trip to Asia and will return to Washington, the State Department says. She had been scheduled to visit Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia.

5:59 p.m. -- U.S. State Department clarifies: Americans do not go to airport now. Seek safe shelter.

5:45 p.m. -- U.S. State Department: About 160 American citizens are at airport waiting for evacuation to Guantanamo. U.S. has heard from less than 100 other Americans. Two C-130s at airport, prepared to evacuate American citizens.

5:36 p.m. -- U.S. State Department asks journalists to get out the word: U.S. citizens in Haiti who want to be evacuated -- go to airport.

5:31 p.m. -- Search-and-rescue teams from the U.S. prepared to head to Haiti, among them the 72-person Los Angeles County, California, Fire Urban Search and Rescue team and the 80-member Miami-Dade, Florida, Urban Search and Rescue Team. The teams include paramedics, search dogs, communication specialists and rescuers trained in combing through collapsed structures looking for victims.Read

5:29 p.m. -- The quake affected roughly one in three Haitians -- about 3 million people, the Red Cross estimated.

4:58 p.m. -- 'Heroes' actor Jimmy Jean-Louis searching for parents in Haiti Read

4:48 p.m -- Question and answer with Edwidge Danticat, acclaimed Haitian-American writer, who says quake is a "catastrophe beyond measure" but that Haitians have incredible resilience and will rebuild. Read

4:47 p.m. --
The World Bank promised $100 million in emergency funding for recovery and reconstruction, subject to approval by the World Bank's board of directors.

4:44 p.m -- The main airport in Haiti appears to be operable, which should enable foreign aid to start flowing into the country in the wake of the powerful earthquake that slammed the impoverished nation late Tuesday afternoon.

4:37 p.m -- Former President Bill Clinton, U.N. special envoy to Haiti, speaks to United Nations on the devastation.

4:28 p.m. -- Another aftershock rattles Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

4:25 p.m. -- Miami Herald: The Obama administration is temporarily suspending deportations of undocumented Haitian nationals who are in the United States, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said Wednesday at a news conference in Miami.

4:23 p.m. -- Estimated 40,000-45,000 Americans live in Haiti. Conditions of many unknown.

4:19 p.m. -- France, Haiti's former colonial ruler, dispatched two planeloads of rescue personnel, one from Guadeloupe in the Caribbean and one from Marseilles, France. Alain Joyandet, the French minister of cooperation, said there was particular concern about approximately 200 French tourists who were staying at the Hotel Montana in Port au Prince. Reports said the hotel had collapsed.

4:18 p.m. -- Cuba sent an additional 30 doctors, plus medical supplies, to join the 344 doctors and paramedics it already had working throughout Haiti on humanitarian missions, said Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

4:10 p.m. -- U.S House of Representatives holds a moment of silence for earthquake victims in Haiti.

4:09 p.m. -- "I cannot live in the palace; I cannot live in my own house," said President Preval. "The two collapsed."

4:08 p.m -- Haitian President Preval: "You have to see it to believe it. Lots of houses destroyed, hospitals, schools, personal homes -- a lot of people in the street, dead."

4:07 p.m. -- Spain is sending three planeloads of aid -- two from Panama in Central America and one from Madrid, the Spanish capital, CNN affiliate CNN+ reported. Spain is also making 3 million euros ($4.35 million) available for aid and will coordinate the European Union response

4:06 p.m. -- Canada already had a five-man team in Haiti as part of U.N. activity there. All five are uninjured and are helping with the relief effort, Capt. Elizabeth Tremblay told CNN.

4:04 p.m. -- Brazil's Ministry of Defense ordered its troops in the country to offer whatever assistance they can, Brazil's official news agency reported. The South American nation has 1,266 troops -- including 250 in an engineering unit -- in Haiti as part of a United Nations stabilization force.

4:02 p.m. -- Habitat for Humanity is sending an assessment team to Haiti and putting together resources "to address shelter solutions for low-income families affected" by the quake, said Torre Nelson, area vice president in Habitat for Humanity International's Latin America and Caribbean office.

4:02 p.m. -- AmeriCares is sending $3 million worth of medical aid to Haiti, including antibiotics, bandages and other medical supplies, and is sending relief workers to help distribute the supplies. It will also send another 10,000 pounds of emergency relief supplies in the coming days from its warehouse in Amsterdam, Netherlands, it said.

4:01 p.m. -- The World Health Organization is sending a 12-person team to Haiti to help with the medical response

4:00 p.m. -- The World Food Programme is immediately airlifting an additional 86 metric tons of food from its emergency hub in El Salvador, which will provide more than half a million emergency meals, the agency said. The aid includes ready-to-eat food and high-energy biscuits.

3:57 p.m -- The Haitian consul general to the United Nations, Felix Augustin, told reporters Port-au-Prince is "flattened."

3:55 p.m -- Haitian President Rene Preval told CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta in Port-au-Prince that he had heard that 30,000 or 100,000 people had been killed in the earthquake, but added "it's too early to give a number."

3:53 p.m. -- U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today released the following statement regarding the earthquake in Haiti: "Like all Rhode Islanders, my heart goes out to the people of Haiti and Haitian-Americans who are struggling with the devastation and loss of life following yesterday's earthquake. "President Obama has mobilized U.S. Coast Guard ships and aircraft and is sending additional resources to help with the relief effort. "I have been contacted by several families who have relatives in Haiti, some of whom were expected to return to Rhode Island within the week. My office continues to coordinate efforts with the State Department, the American Citizen Service Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian Consulate in New York, and the Haitian Embassy in Washington, DC. "I have also received many calls from Rhode Islanders wanting to help. Those wishing to help should contact the Red Cross, which is only taking cash donations at this time. Additionally, a volunteer list is being formed and there are efforts underway to help volunteers who have been trained in disaster relief to travel to Haiti, if needed. "I encourage Rhode Islanders who need assistance contacting family members and loved ones in Haiti to contact my office."

3:50 p.m. -- Rainn Wilson of "The Office" statement on Haiti: With a heavy and anxious heart, my prayers go out to the noble, beautiful, broken country of Haiti. My wife and I had the great good fortune to spend a week there this last October on behalf of some charities we were working with, and the Mona Foundation. We met beautiful, vital students in many schools, street-children trying to educate themselves and many selfless Haitian teachers and doctors working to be of service to their country. I don't know if they are all alive or dead right now and it's breaking my heart. The hotel we stayed at and most of the places we visited now lie in rubble. I believe in the power of prayer and I believe in the power of service. Even if you can only give 20 bucks, that will go a long, long way In a country as devastatingly poor as Haiti. Please also send prayers and hope that the world takes drastic action to remedy this horrific disaster. Rainn Wilson

3:47 p.m. -- Lumiere Medical Ministries e-mail to CNN: All 25 employees are fine. The ministry has been in Haiti for 25 years. They have a 30 bed hospital and an orphanage. Hank was able to get in touch with the Head Dr. by telephone and he says there is devastation everywhere and many injured. The ministry was scheduled to do the official ribbon cutting for the brand new hospital in February. They are able to treat out patient and some procedure. A container with supplies was sent last night.

3:45 p.m. -- "I'm still looking to understand the magnitude of the event," Preval says. "There are risks that the houses will continue to collapse."

3:43 p.m -- Haitian President Rene Preval to CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta: "We don't have the capacity" to bring all the injured to hospitals.

3:05 p.m. -- The U.S. Coast Guard has mobilized ships and aircraft to positions where they can be quickly sent to Haiti if needed, the service says on its Web site. Standing by are: A C-130 Hercules aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida; the cutter Valiant, homeported in Miami; The cutter Forward, homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia; the cutter Tahoma, homeported in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; the cutter Mohawk, homeported in Key West, Florida.

2:11 p.m. -- "Port-au-Prince is flattened ... more than 100,000 are dead," Felix Augustin, the Haitian consul general to U.N., tells reporters in New York. The hospitals are gone and medical supplies and heavy equipment are desperately needed, he says.

2:09 p.m. -- Doctors Without Borders has about 800 staff in Haiti, many of whom have not been accounted for.

2:04 p.m. -- Want to more about Haiti? Check out this interactive snapshot.

1:21 p.m. -- With phone lines down and communication cut, Haitians living in U.S. are "sick with worry." State Department line for those seeking information about loved ones: 1-888-407-4747. Full story

1:15 p.m. -- From Anderson Cooper in Port-au-Prince: "The only thing to compare it to is Hurricane Katrina. But in the last 30 minutes -- or the last hour that I've been driving, I've seen probably 20 to 25 bodies on the streets. And that's just on the main avenues in downtown Port-au-Prince."

1 p.m. -- 40,000-45,000 Americans in Haiti, the U.S. State Department says. The Embassy has been in touch with about 40. No confirmed deaths. About a dozen injured. "Clearly that will go up," says Assistant Secretary P.J. Crowley.

12:41 p.m. -- Photo gallery shows the destruction.

12:30 p.m. -- At least 15 U.N. peacekeepers reported dead.

12:27 p.m. -- Joseph Serge Miot, the archbishop of Port-au-Prince, died in the quake, according to the official Vatican newspaper.

12:18 p.m. -- Haiti prime minister tells CNN he believes well over 100,000 have died in earthquake.

12:12 p.m. -- Anderson Cooper says situation at airport "pretty quiet." He says small military presence from Dominican Republic is at the airport.

11:45 a.m. -- National Penitentiary collapsed and inmates escaped, prompting worries about looting by escapees.

11:35 a.m. -- Want to help? Check out Impact Your World

11:13 a.m. -- Fabiola Surena shared photos of her parents' home and her aunt and uncle's property in Debussy, Haiti -- both areas are severely damaged. Aunt and uncle's property; Parents' home

11:07 a.m. -- Catholic Relief Services staff member Karel Zelenka provided this account via e-mail. "Damage incredible all around ... Some major buildings are gone -- the hotel Montana, the National Palace etc... People have been screaming and chanting all over the place ... It is a disaster of the century, we should be prepared for thousands and thousands of dead and injured."

11:03 a.m. -- 50-member Chinese rescue team ready to depart for Haiti, China's Xinhua news agency reports.

11:01 a.m. -- More than 100 employees of U.N. mission unaccounted for.

10:45 a.m. -- Read an easy-to-read guide on Haiti and its history.

10:39 a.m. -- A Haitian-American tells CNN her parents died in the quake, days after visiting her in South Florida. Full story

10:35 a.m. -- Twitter is playing a critical role in collecting donations to help disaster victims, reports.

10:26 a.m. -- The people of Haiti have a friend and partner in the United States, President Obama says in concluding news conference. Watch news conference Video

10:24 a.m. -- USAID Administrator Raj Shah will coordinate American relief efforts, Obama says.

10:23 a.m. -- President Obama extends "deep condolences" to people of Haiti. Says he has ordered a "swift" and "coordinated" response .

10:21 a.m. -- None of three aid centers run by Doctors without Borders in Haiti is operable, the group says.

10:20 a.m. -- People of Haiti will have full support of the United States, President Obama says.

10:16 a.m. -- The main airport in Haiti appears to be operable, U.S. State Department spokesman says.

10:15 a.m. -- The U.N. Haitian mission chief and the agency's deputy special representative are unaccounted for, says U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

10:11 a.m. -- Air traffic control "is very dicey," says CNN's Anderson Cooper. While flying over Haiti, his helicopter had to make last-minute maneuver to avoid hitting another aircraft. Watch Anderson Cooper video Video

10:10 a.m. -- People are standing around wondering where to go, says Anderson Cooper, who flew over Haiti in a helicopter. Major buildings have collapsed -- pancaked together.

10:07 a.m. -- "It's incredibly shocking," says Anderson Cooper.

10:04 a.m. -- President of Lumiere Medical Ministries, which has been in Haiti for 25 years, tells CNN all 25 employees are fine.

9:57 a.m. -- Follow Tweets from CNN's Anderson Cooper.

9:39 a.m. -- "I heard a lot of people praying, saying that Jesus is coming, saying that we need to pray, we need to save our lives by believing in God," witness Carel Pedre tells CNN.

8:53: a.m. -- President Obama to make statement on Haiti at 10 a.m. ET.

8:41 a.m. -- The U.N. Haitian mission chief and the agency's deputy special representative are unaccounted for, says U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

8:41 a.m. -- U.S. was the first to offer help, says Haitian ambassador to the U.S.

8: 32 a.m. -- Quake "destroyed" much of Port-au-Prince, the country's first lady reported. Full story

7: 30 a.m. -- Reconnaissance flights to go over Haiti soon, says U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley.

7:07 a.m. --The quake affected roughly one in three Haitians -- about 3 million people, the Red Cross estimated. Full story

4:30 a.m. -- A "large number" of people with the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti were unaccounted for. Three Jordanian peacekeepers killed.

3:40 a.m. on January 13, 2010 -- Residents hunkered down for the night, awaiting daylight to ascertain full scope of devastation.

11:45 p.m. -- "Can hear people gathered in the distance singing prayers," wrote Richard Morse, hotel manager at the Oloffson Hotel, wrote on Twitter.

10:32 p.m. -- Haiti's infrastructure world's worst even in the best of times, says country's ambassador to the U.S.

9:13 p.m. -- U.N. headquarters in Haiti collapsed, U.N. officials say.

8:45 p.m. -- Eyewitnesses report heavy damage and bodies in the streets of the capital.

7: 56 p.m. -- U.S. State Department told to expect "serious loss of life" in Haiti.

6:50 p.m. -- Tsunami watch cancelled.

5:23 p.m. -- A tsunami watch is in effect for Haiti, Cuba, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.

5:14 p.m. on Jan. 12, 2010 -- A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck southern Haiti, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

Part of complete coverage on
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A much-awaited review of Haiti's disputed presidential election has been completed but not yet been handed over to the president.
20,000 new jobs promised
Haiti's economy is getting a boost thanks to a venture with one of Korea's largest companies that promises to bring in 20,000 jobs.
Baby reunited with doctor
Nadine Devilme has thanked God countless times for saving her baby and has wanted to thank the doctor who treated the child after the earthquake.
To recover, Haiti needs leaders
What Haiti needs now is leadership from its sovereign government.
Bitter, displaced, Haitians wait in limbo
Amy Wilentz says a year after the earthquake, much of the funding to rebuild is stalled as aid organizations wait for the election crisis to be resolved.