U.S. sending rescue teams to Haiti after big quake

11:44 PM, Jan 12, 2010   |    comments
People carry an injured person after an earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- A State Department spokesman says there's going to be "serious loss of life" in Haiti following a major earthquake.

The U.S. is dispatching rescue teams. Spokesman P.J. Crowley says American officials say they've seen bodies in streets and on sidewalks in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The 7.0 quake and several strong aftershocks collapsed a hospital and damaged other buildings.

An aid official describes the scene as "total disaster and chaos." The chaos was reported by a Catholic Relief Services representative in Port-au-Prince, who spoke to U.S. colleagues before the phone service failed. A spokeswoman for the aid group in Maryland says the representative speculated that "there must be thousands of people dead."

The toll-free number to call for information about family members in Haiti is 1-888-407-4747. The State Department advises that some callers may receive a recording because of heavy volume of calls.

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(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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