On Tuesday, a catastrophic earthquake struck near Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The full extent of the damage is still being assessed, but the death toll — already in the thousands — is climbing fast.
This is the worst earthquake to hit the area in more than 200 years. Entire communities have been ripped apart and as many as 3 million people have been directly affected, including tens of thousands of American citizens who are in Haiti.
Our neighbors in Haiti are racing to confront the enormous devastation — and this community can help.
Footage is pouring in of homes collapsing, Haitians carrying injured family members, and hospitals being overrun in what was already the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
I have directed my administration to respond with a swift, coordinated, and aggressive effort to save lives. Personnel from the United States and our partners in the international community are on the ground in damaged areas right now, working side by side with the Haitian people. They’re providing much-needed food, water, and sanitation supplies, saving lives and helping local communities start to rebuild.
Despite the fact that we are experiencing tough times here at home, I encourage those who can to reach out and help. It’s in times like these that we must show the kind of compassion and humanity that has defined the best of our national character for generations.
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As this story continues to unfold, I hope you will continue to keep the people of Haiti in your thoughts and prayers, as well as the many Haitian-Americans who have done so much to enrich our country and who are worried about friends and loved ones in this time of need.
President Barack Obama