Message from Haiti: 'it is a disaster of the century'

CAFOD is a member of the  Caritas  Federation and received this communication from its partner CRS - CRS/Haiti staff this morning who are in the country to distribute emergency relief.

We are all accounted for except for two staff. They are probably fine, but out of phone reach close to Gonaives. We have a terrible problem with communications – only incoming calls. We tried to organize this morning and contact UN, OFDA and Caritas. We might be running out of supplies ourselves – water and food.

No organized rescue efforts yet– all done by individuals with bare hands. Damage incredible all around, but our offices seem fine. Some major buildings are gone – the hotel Montana, the National Palace etc.

All AA flights canceled until this weekend. UN has only 4 helicopters, two were seen early this morning doing surveys, otherwise no movement of any rescue vehicles / people. Most in a shock. …On radio stations only wild music.

People have been screaming and praying all over the place throughout the night. It is a disaster of the century, we should be prepared for thousands and thousands of dead and injured.

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