HAITI: THE POOREST COUNTRY IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE RAVAGED BY A 7.0 EATHQUAKE

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The Pentagon is working on aid for Port-Au-Prince, Haiti after a 7.o earthquake and over 25 afthershocks in the Capitol City. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says there will be military and civilian aid from the United States for Haiti.  Three million are affected in Haiti, the National Palace in Port Au Prince is heavily damaged, the tower at the airport is down, scores of people are trapped.  The number of dead unknown.

Haiti, the first post-colonial independent Black-led nation in the world, is considered the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.  Haiti is the only nation whose independence was gained as part of a successful slave rebellion.

The Haitian presidential palace stands in ruins on January 12, 2010 in Port-au-Prince after a huge earthquake measuring 7.0 rocked the impoverished Caribbean nation of Haiti, toppling buildings and causing widespread damage and panic, officials and AFP witnesses said. A tsunami alert was immediately issued for the Caribbean region after the earthquake struck at 2153 GMT. (LISANDRO SUERO/Getty Images)

President Obama was informed of the earthquake at 5:52pm. The President asked his staff to make sure that embassy personnel are safe, and to begin preparations in the event that humanitarian assistance is needed. The Department of State, USAID and the United States Southern Command have begun working to coordinate an assessment and any such assistance.

A Statement by President Obama on the Earthquake in Haiti:  “My thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected by this earthquake. We are closely monitoring the situation and we stand ready to assist the people of Haiti.”

A destroyed building near the Hotel Villa Creole in Port-au-Prince is seen on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010 after the strongest earthquake in more than 200 years struck Haiti. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Montreal La Presse, Ivanoh Demers)

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