News and pictures are finally filtering out of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti which was rocked by an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale today (Jan. 12). Pictures posted on the NY Times website show the devastation and injured. Casualties are expected to be high.
U.S. president Barack Obama has pledged to send aid to the tiny island nation. Offers of support and donations for Haiti are pouring in from all over the world. Local Atlanta DJs are taking donations and collecting canned goods. And members of a LA fire rescue team are deploying to Haiti.
The 72-member heavy rescue task force received a request for help from the U.S. Agency for International Development and is gathering at a staging area in Pomona, county fire officials said.
The team includes paramedics, search dogs, communication specialists and rescuers who are trained in combing through collapsed structures to find victims.
Obama has instructed State Department, the United States Agency for International Development and the United States Southern Command to begin working to coordinate an assessment, aides said.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected by this earthquake,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “We are closely monitoring the situation and we stand ready to assist the people of Haiti.”