Leaders in the Haitian community felt powerless as yet another calamity has hit their native country. With no communication to Haiti in the last three yours, people called each other to see if anyone had heard anything.
The suspense is sending a chill as people try to imagine the extent of this catastrophe.
Four hours ago, a major earthquake shook the capital city to its core and left Port-au-Prince into a smoke haze.
At this moment, the number of death and people injured are not known. People could be heard screaming and crying. The metropolitan area is home to two million people in an area originally planned for 200,000. Houses are poorly constructed with lax codes, if any.
“The earthquake registered at 7.0- with an aftershock of 5.9. The palace has been severely damaged said, Frank Williams, national director for World Vision in Haiti.
“This is a catastrophe of major proportions, said Raymond Joseph, Haitian ambassador to the United States, on CNN The Situation Room. “The place is really bad now.”
Joseph made a plea for the world to come to Haiti’s rescue at this moment of intense grief.
An Associated Press videographer saw the wrecked hospital in Petionville, near Port-au-Prince, and a U.S. government official reported seeing houses that had tumbled into a ravine.
Don Blakeman, an analyst at the USGS in Golden, Colorado, said such a strong quake carried the potential for widespread damage.
“I think we are going to see substantial damage and casualties,” he said.
Blakeman said Haiti had already been hit by many aftershocks, the two largest registering magnitude 5.9 and 5.5.
“We expect more aftershocks because this is a large, shallow earthquake,” he said.