Death toll could reach thousands in Haiti earthquake - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Death toll could reach thousands in Haiti earthquake

by Kristen Dahlgren

MIAMI (NBC) - A massive 7.0 earthquake devastated the Haitian capital Tuesday night. The death toll still isn't known as rescue workers scramble to find those still alive and trapped under rubble.

It was the worst earthquake to hit Haiti in two centuries. The devastation in Port-au-Prince is overwhelming. President Obama quickly pledged U.S. aid.

"I have directed my administration to respond with a swift, coordinated and aggressive effort to save lives," President Obama said.

After the massive quake, residents tore through the rubble searching for survivors. But others were dazed, stunned by what happened around them. There's no way to know how many are still beneath the crushed buildings, alive or dead.

The presidential palace and the headquarters for the United Nations mission in Haiti were destroyed.

And countries around the world have offered help in the aftermath of the quake.

"Haiti has moved to center of the world's thoughts and the world's compassion," said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Pope Benedict called on the international community for a generous response to the disaster and promised help from the Catholic church.

Help that can't come soon enough.

The Red Cross says as many as three million people may have been affected by the quake.

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