Huffington Post: An earthquake centered near the impoverished Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince caused the collapse of several buildings and an unknown number of fatalities Tuesday. The quake measured 7.0 on the Richter scale and at least 1.8 million people live within the area where the earthquake had its highest intensity.
President Obama said on Tuesday that his "thoughts and prayers" were with the people of Haiti. "We are closely monitoring the situation and we stand ready to assist the people of Haiti," Obama said in a statement. The Obama administration said that the State Department, USAID and the U.S. military were working to coordinate an assessment of the situation and any possible assistance.
Huffington Post Impact is working to collect a comprehensive list of links and ways to get involved in relief efforts, detailed below.
The U.S. State Department Operations Center has set up the following number for Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747.
NOTE: We will continually be updating this page -- check back here. The best way for you to help right now is to give through one of the organizations below.
• The American Red Cross is pledging an initial $200,000 to assist communities impacted by this earthquake. They expect to provide immediate needs for food, water, temporary shelter, medical services and emotional support. They are accepting donations through their International Response Fund.
• UNICEF has issued a statement that "Children are always the most vulnerable population in any natural disaster, and UNICEF is there for them." UNICEF requests donations for relief for children in Haiti via their Haiti Earthquake Fund. You can also call 1-800-4UNICEF.
• Operation USA is appealing for donations of funds from the public and corporate donations in bulk of health care materials, water purification supplies and food supplements which it will ship to the region from its base in the Port of Los Angeles. Donate online at www.opusa.org, by phone at 1-800-678-7255 or, by check made out to Operation USA, 3617 Hayden Ave, Suite A, Culver City, CA 90232.
• International Medical Corps is assembling a team of first responders and resources to provide lifesaving medical care and other emergency services to survivors of the earthquake. The IMC previously helped recovery efforts after September 2009's earthquake in Sumatra, Indonesia, and the massive 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. Donate to the International Medical Corps through their 24-hour hotline at 800-481-4462
• Partners in Health reports its Port-au-Prince clinical director, Louise Ivers, has appealed for assistance: "Port-au-Prince is devastated, lot of deaths. SOS. SOS... Temporary field hospital by us at UNDP needs supplies, pain meds, bandages. Please help us." Donate to their Haiti earthquake fund.
• Mercy Corps is sending a team of emergency responders to assess damage, and seek to fulfill immediate needs of quake survivors. The agency aided families after earthquakes in Peru in 2007, China and Pakistan in 2008, and Indonesia last year. Donate online, call 1-888-256-1900 or send checks to Mercy Corps Haiti Earthquake Fund; Dept NR; PO Box 2669; Portland, OR 97208.
• Direct Relief is committing up to $1 million in aid for the response and is coordinating with its other in-country partners and colleague organizations. Their partners in Haiti include Partners in Health, St. Damien Children's Hospital, and the Visitation Hospital, which are particularly active in emergency response. Donate to Direct Relief online.
• The UN World Food Programme is gathering all available resources to deliver food to the recently homeless and impoverished in Haiti. Donate now to help bring food to those affected as quickly and efficiently as possible.
• Donate to Catholic Relief Services.
• Give to the American Jewish World Service's Earthquake Relief Fund.
• CARE is deploying emergency team members to Port-au-Prince today to assist in recovery efforts. They're focusing their efforts on rescuing children who may still be trapped in schools that collapsed. Donate to CARE.
• Orphans International America reports that they have been able to make contact with their program director in the town of Jacmel, a city about 20 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince that houses OI's hospitals and schools. Orphans International America is attempting to gather food, clean water and emergency medical supplies to Jacmel. You can contribute to them through PayPal on their website.
• The International Rescue Committee is deploying an emergency response team to Haiti to deliver urgent assistance to earthquake survivors and to help overwhelmed local aid groups struggling to meet the immense emergency needs. They will focus on critical medical, water and sanitation assistance. Donate to the IRC Haiti Crisis Fund.
• NetHope is coordinating its response with its NGO member agencies and with the UN's Emergency Telecom Cluster to establish connectivity in Haiti. Seventeen of NetHope's members are already providing aid and deploying resources on the ground. Donate online.
HuffPost Impact is following relief organizations in Haiti and will be updating with their latest messages from the ground.
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