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Largest earthquake in more than 200 years strikes Haiti [Updated]

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As many as three million people may be homeless, according to International Red Cross spokesman Paul Conneally. The Haitian prime minister said several hundred thousand people may have been killed in the quake, which destroyed most of Port-au-Prince.

“It’s going to be a real killer,” said earthquake expert Tom Jordan at the University of Southern California. “Whenever something like this happens, you just hope for the best.”

The U.S. Agency for International Development has responded. An “aggressive, coordinated” U.S. effort is being mounted, according to the Washington Post.

Troy Livesay tweeted from Port Au Prince about 3 a.m., Wednesday:

Church groups are singing throughout the city all through the night in prayer. It is a beautiful sound in the middle of a horrible tragedy.

Livesay’s blog here.

This twitpic account has images of the devastation.

You may view photos of the devastation here.

Follow the CNN Haiti twitter list at

Follow the NPR News twitter earthquake list at

Follow the Los Angeles Times Haiti twitter list at

Follow the New York Times Haiti twitter list at

Baptists are responding with aid. Initial efforts are led by Florida Baptists, “who have had ministry relationships in Haiti for more than 20 years and currently have six staff members who live and work in the country, said Jim Brown, U.S. director for Baptist Global Response. The Southern Baptist International Mission Board does not have long-term personnel stationed in the country.”

The Catholic Relief Service reports that the building opposite CRS Port-au-Pr office has collapsed. According to CNS, those reported dead include Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot of Port-au-Prince and Zilda Arns Neumann, a pediatrician who founded the Brazilian bishops’ children’s commission and sister of Brazilian Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns, retired archbishop of Sao Paulo. The Vatican missionary news agency, Fides, reports that 100 priests and seminarians also were killed. The clergy, members of the Montfort order, were in Port-au-Prince on retreat.

The Episcopal Diocese of Haiti is numerically the largest of the Episcopal Church. The Episcopal Cafe blog is monitoring developments.

United Methodist Church volunteers in Haiti who can be reached thus far are reported safe.

CNN reported:

Haiti’s infrastructure was among the world’s worst even in the best of times, the country’s ambassador to the United States said Tuesday.

“It was a catastrophe waiting to happen,” Raymond Alcide Joseph told CNN from Washington shortly after a 7.0 earthquake leveled parts of his home country, cutting power and phone lines in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. “Sadly, it has happened.”

January 13, 2010 - Posted by | news | ,

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