Haiti Suffers Worst Earthquake in 200 Years

The Haitian capital, Port-Au-Prince, has been devastated by a massive earthquake:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Haitians piled bodies along the devastated streets of their capital Wednesday after the strongest earthquake to hit the poor Caribbean nation in more than 200 years crushed thousands of structures, from schools and shacks to the National Palace and the U.N. peacekeeping headquarters. Untold numbers were still trapped.

It seemed clear that the death toll from Tuesday afternoon’s magnitude-7.0 quake would run into the thousands. France’s foreign minister said the head of the U.N. peacekeeping mission was apparently among the dead.

International Red Cross spokesman Paul Conneally said a third of Haiti’s 9 million people may need emergency aid and that it would take a day or two for a clear picture of the damage to emerge. The United Nations said the capital’s main airport was “fully operational” and that relief flights would begin Wednesday.

Aftershocks continued to rattle the capital of 2 million people as women covered in dust clawed out of debris, wailing. Stunned people wandered the streets holding hands. Thousands gathered in public squares to sing hymns.

People pulled bodies from collapsed homes, covering them with sheets by the side of the road. Passersby lifted the sheets to see if loved ones were underneath. Outside a crumbled building the bodies of five children and three adults lay in a pile.

The United States and other nations — from Iceland to Venezuela — said they would start sending aid workers and rescue teams to Haiti on Wednesday as the start of a major emergency operation. The international Red Cross and other aid groups announced plans for major relief operations in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.

Our prayers go out to the people of Haiti, who are desperately hurting this morning.

But I wonder, if the US sends an aircraft carrier to assist with the Haitian rescue operation, will President Obama be savaged as an “idiot” like President Bush was, when he sent the USS Abraham Lincoln to Indonesia after the deadly December 2004 tsunami? Or will the UN criticize our efforts as “stingy”?

I suppose we can at least be thankful that the bitterness exhibited by the Left with regard to every single move made by the Bush Administration no longer exists with respect to the Obama White House. Hopefully the absence of animosity will allow our relief efforts to run as smoothly as possible.

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