Americans Pulled From Rubble as Haiti's Earthquake Survivors Begin to Get Relief

Haitian President Rene Preval and Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive have predicted the death toll could reach 100,000.

Late Thursday afternoon, Preval said 7,000 people were reportedly buried in one common grave. Makeshift morgues have been set up in churches, and some people have begun collecting identification cards off corpses to try to compile a master list of the dead.

President Obama: Haiti Is 'a Top Priority'

VIDEO: Families desperately wait for information about loved ones.
null

There were roughly 45,000 Americans living in Haiti at the time of the earthquake.

The State Department late Thursday afternoon confirmed one American death -- 57-year-old Victoria DeLong, a cultural affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince who had been stationed there since February 2009 and joined the State Department in 1983.

The U.S. government was looking into three possible additional American fatalities, but could only confirm DeLong had died.

The Hotel Montana -- where Chand and Santos were rescued, and where a rescue effort continued -- is where the U.N. housed much of its staff in Haiti.

VIDEO: The secretary of state is managing relief efforts in the devastated nation.
null

An American named Rudy Bennet has been trapped in the Hotel Montana and has been texting relatives back in the U.S.

The earthquake that struck Tuesday may have claimed 45,000 to 50,000 lives, according to Haiti's Red Cross.

"No one knows with precision. No one can confirm a figure," Victor Jackson, an assistant national coordinator with Haiti's Red Cross, told Reuters.

For full Haiti Earthquake coverage watch World News With Diane Sawyer this evening. Check your local listing for times.

"It will take hours, in many cases days to get all of the rescue teams and resources on the ground in Haiti to assist with the rescue effort," President Obama said in a televised statement from the White House this morning.

VIDEO: Impassable roads and heavy airport damaged makes relief efforts challenging.
null

Flanked by Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Obama said that leaders from his national security team must make Haiti "a top priority."

Obama earlier had pledged initial support of $100 million towards the relief efforts. He has also asked former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to lead fundraising efforts.

U.S. corporations have pledged nearly $15 million, an amount that is sure to increase in the coming days.

Obama outlined steps successfully taken: The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson will arrive on Friday with 19 helicopters. Members of the 82nd Airborne have hit the ground in Haiti. Three aircraft landed Thursday with search and rescue teams. Five additional planes were scheduled to land Thursday evening with further rescue teams, dogs, medical supplies and pallets. Several Coast Guard cutters are providing basic supplies and technical equipment. Three U.S. ships offering hospital services and medical support were scheduled to arrive in Haiti on Jan. 15, 18 and 22.

 Video: Texas couple waits to learn more about their pending adoption.
null

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...