Authorized an immediate US response: President Biden on Haiti earthquake
- Joe Biden said on Saturday he was "saddened" by the devastation
- The earthquake was about 12 kilometres northeast of Saint-Louis-du-Sud
- Haiti authorities have confirmed that at least 227 people were killed
In a public statement, President Biden wrote he is "saddened by the devastating earthquake that occurred in Saint-Louis du Sud, Haiti this morning."
"We send our deepest condolences to all those who lost a loved one or saw their homes and businesses destroyed. I have authorized an immediate US response and named USAID (United States Agency for International Development) Administrator Samantha Power as the senior US official to coordinate this effort," he said, according to CNN reports.
"Through USAID, we are supporting efforts to assess the damage and assist efforts to recover those who were injured and those who must now rebuild. The United States remains a close and enduring friend to the people of Haiti, and we will be there in the aftermath of this tragedy."
Haiti authorities have confirmed that at least 227 people were killed after a strong 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the country on Saturday.
The earthquake was about 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) northeast of Saint-Louis-du-Sud and 10 kilometres deep (about 6 miles deep), according to the US Geological Survey.
Saturday's earthquake was similar in strength to the devastating quake in 2010 that killed an estimated 300,000 people. A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck the country in 2018, killing more than a dozen people.
Meanwhile, Haiti Prime Minister Ariel Henry said he was rushing aid to areas where towns were destroyed and hospitals overwhelmed with incoming patients, according to Associated Press reports.
Furthermore, several Latin American countries have been rushing to send humanitarian aid to Haiti.
Chilean President Sebastian Piñera said on Twitter that they contacted Haitian authorities and are currently preparing to send humanitarian aid, saying the country "undoubtedly needs with desperation and urgency,"
President of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has ordered the National Coordination of Civil Protection and other ministries like Foreign Affairs, Navy, and Defense to prepare help "immediately," he said in a tweet.
"Panama sends solidarity and help to the Haitian people," the Foreign Ministry of Panama announced on Twitter, adding that they are also getting ready to send humanitarian aid.