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Looking for a missing family member? Search hotline, online database set up


By Miriam Raftery


January 13, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Over 100,000 people have been killed in a 7.0 earthquake that  struck the island of Haiti in the Caribbean, CNN reports.  The quake is the strongest  to rock the region in two centuries. Thousands more are trapped beneath rubble or lay injured in the streets.


Massive global relief efforts are being mobilized to help victims and public help is sought for donations--and local relief agencies are pitching in to lend support.

The USS Carl Vinson was en route home to San Diego when it was ordered to the Caribbean, where crews will join U.S. search and rescue teams in Haiti, CBS news reports.


Rescue Task Force, an international aid group founded in El Cajon, is also participating in relief efforts.


Rescue Task Force spokesperson Andrea Stone estimates that as many as 500,000 lives may have been lost. "The dead are piling on the decaying streets of the capital city , Port-au-Prince. The country is in chaos, communications are down," she said.  "Devastation is widespread and relief is desperately needed. Three million people need help, including many children and elderly."

Rescue Task Force (RTF) (www.rescuetaskforce.org) and World Emergency Relief (WER) are combining relief efforts and taking immediate action. 


"Our in country contacts are proving invaluable." said Stone. "RTF has made contact with our in country volunteers via satellite phone. They are located on the Haitian border and are equipped with an ambulance. RTF is providing immediate medical supplies including medicines, food, water and more. The RTF team is assessing long and short terms needs, setting goals and efforts are already underway in bringing in hand sanitizers and cleaning products to the disaster site."

Online donations may be made through the Rescue Task Force website at http://www.wer-us.org/haiti-RFT-donation.html


The World Food Program is already on the ground in Haiti and seeks additional donates to help feed those displaced by the disaster. To donate, visit http://www.wfp.org/donate/haiti .


The San Diego chapter of American Red Cross also seeks donations to help pay for relief supplies. Donations may be made to www.sdarc.org or by calling 858-309-1200.


If you are concerned about a family member missing in Haiti, the U.S. State Department Operations Center has set up a hotline at 1-888-407-4747. In addition, CNN news has set up a site to report missing persons in Haiti: http://ireport.com/ir-topic-stories.ispa?topicld=38168.


Members of the Haitian Methodist Mission, many of whom have relatives in earthquake-stricken Haiti, will hold a prayer meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday and have invited the public to attend. The church is located at 3295 Meade Avenue in the Normal Heights area of San Diego.

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