Advisory: Earthquake Hits Haiti

Advisory: Earthquake Hits Haiti

  |   Posted: October 06, 2010

UPDATE: Oct. 6, 2010 - Recently, a tornado-like storm hit Port-au-Prince.

Around 85 Compassion-assisted children were affected. Eighty-three had their tents destroyed and two lost the roof of their home. Project facilitators and child development center workers are making sure that those affected have food, water and temporary shelter.

Repair on the second Compassion office building is nearing an end.

Staff have been hired to help with completing the strategies. The previously hired engineer will continue to coordinate the rebuilding of the child development centers.

An additional 320 children have been seen through a mobile clinic in Miragoane (HA-789), and medical equipment (scales, stethoscopes, and thermometers) were distributed to 35 child development centers.

Nearly 340 families received temporary and transitional shelter materials during the month of September.

Containers were delivered to the following child development centers for use as temporary meeting space:

  • HA-314
  • HA-727
  • HA-800

Over 40 church partners were selected to benefit from repairing and rebuilding works.

More than 150 people (child development staff members, children and parents) from the following child development centers have benefited from group therapy and individual debriefing with the psychologists:

  • HA-204
  • HA-319
  • HA-355
  • HA-717
  • HA-726
  • HA-748
  • HA-751
  • HA-778
  • HA-805

Please continue to pray for those devastated by this disaster. May the Lord supply Compassion staff, children, families and volunteers with renewed strength each day.

Compassion Haiti will keep us updated as more information is available.

Compassion International will contact you if your sponsored child has been affected.

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UPDATE: Sept. 3, 2010 - Repair on the second Compassion office building continues through September.

Earthquake detectors have been installed on each level of the Compassion office buildings.

Three new Haiti Compassion employees have been hired to help with the implementation of the disaster response strategies.

In addition, an engineer has been hired as the construction supervisor to oversee the rebuilding of the Compassion-assisted child development centers affected by the earthquake.

In August, more than 400 children were seen at two mobile clinics.

This past month, over 650 families received material for temporary/transitional housing.

UPDATE: Aug. 4, 2010 - At the end of July repairs on the larger building of the Haiti office were completed. Staff now occupies both Compassion Haiti office buildings.

Last month, more than 200 families received building supplies for constructing shelters, bringing the total to more than 4,000 families. Additionally, 2,000 families in rural areas have received supplies.

Eleven containers were distributed to nine Implementing Church Partners in Leogane and Port-au-Prince to serve as offices. Money was also given to remove debris and buy office equipment.

Over the past month, two Implementing Church Partners and three hospitals received additional medical supplies. As of now 100 percent of affected Compassion-assisted centers and 16 hospitals have received medical supplies.

Additionally, more than 750 Child Survival Program caregivers received hygiene kits, and over the past month, nearly 70 Leadership Development Students received food kits.

Also, 130 tutors from 21 Implementing Church Partners received training on the water treatment system and will be sharing this with Compassion-assisted children and families.

At least 13 Implementing Church Partners received the following:

  • 520 benches
  • 69 boards
  • 64 school desks
  • 14 center office desks
  • 191 chairs
  • 8 filing cabinets

Last month two hired psychologists conducted a two-day training for 30 tutors. These tutors will be reaching out to more than 750 Compassion-assisted children and families including pastors, tutors and child development staff.

UPDATE: June 30, 2010 - Repair on the second building of the Compassion Haiti office is under way and will continue through the end of July.

Compassion Haiti has distributed more than 4,000 tarps, and more than an additional 1,300 families received corrugated metal sheets and wooden frames to rebuild their homes.

About 8,000 registered children and 7,000 siblings and parents have been seen through mobile clinics. They have been tested for malaria and typhoid.

Two psychologists have been hired at the Compassion Haiti office on a six-month contract to develop a plan to meet the psychological needs of registered children, siblings, relatives and child development center staff.

At least eight centers have received containers with school supplies, and 10 centers have received benches, boards and desks.

UPDATE: June 9, 2010 - To date, mobile clinics of five local medical teams have visited all affected child development centers and have treated more than 11,000 patients.

Medical supplies sent after the earthquake were used to treat Compassion-assisted children, their families and people in the communities. Additional supplies have been distributed to nearly 70 affected centers and more than 10 hospitals.

All significantly affected child development centers received food supplies to serve children hot meals during the center activities.

To date, more than 2,500 tarps have been distributed to more than 20 centers. There are plans to distribute a total of 6,000 tarps to the most severely affected families.

School attendance for Compassion-assisted children is estimated at about 80 percent. More than 500 children moved to the countryside, where there is a Compassion center. They are attending school as well as center activities.

Most of the schools allow children to go home at noon because of the extreme heat.

UPDATE: May 21, 2010 - The Haitian government reopened schools and extended the school term by three months through August. About 800 of the city's 5,000 schools have reopened.

Our church partners continue searching the tent cities daily to locate the children. At this time approximately 1,300 children have not been accounted for.

Through our census, we have accounted for nearly 95 percent of our program beneficiaries at the moderately and significantly affected development centers. We are continuing to contact sponsors whose children we have specific information on.

To complement the ongoing searches in the tent cities, regionally based partnership facilitators are searching the countryside to find children who may have relocated outside of Port-au-Prince after the quake.

In addition to our efforts to account for all the children, we are also working to:

  • improve the health of affected and at-risk children and families, while providing supplies for and increasing the treatment capacity of our health care teams
  • restart the Leadership Development Program to assure all non-academic requirements of the program are met as students receive post-trauma training and counseling prior to universities reopening 
  • provide short-term food security and transitional meeting places for our church partners

Our affected church partners are still receiving water and food kits. Each food kit gives a family of five one meal a day for two weeks. To date, we have distributed more than 30,000 food kits.

UPDATE: April 30, 2010 - Through our census, we have accounted for nearly 93 percent of our program beneficiaries at the moderately and significantly affected child development centers.

At this time, we have not yet accounted for approximately 1,700 children. We are continuing to contact sponsors whose children we do have specific information on.

Our church partners are searching the tent cities daily to locate the rest of the children. In addition, regionally based partnership facilitators are searching the countryside to find children who may have relocated outside of Port-au-Prince after the quake.

Affected Compassion-assisted church partners are still receiving water and food kits. Each food kit gives a family of five one meal a day for two weeks.

UPDATE: April 7, 2010 - We have accounted for nearly 86 percent of our program beneficiaries at the moderately and significantly affected child development centers through our census.

Approximately 2,500 children have not yet been accounted for at this time. We are continuing to contact sponsors whose children we do have specific information about.

In addition to our efforts to account for all the children affected by the earthquake, we are also working to:

  • improve the health of affected and at-risk children and families
  • provide supplies for and increase the treatment capacity of our health care teams
  • restart the Leadership Development Program to assure all non-academic requirements of the program are met as students receive post-trauma training and counseling prior to the re-opening of universities
  • provide short-term food security and transitional meeting places for our church partners

Regular activities are still not taking place at child development centers and Child Survival Programs significantly affected by the earthquake. However, affected church partners continue to conduct camps to help address the psychological, physical, nutritional and cognitive needs of our registered children and the mothers and babies participating in our Child Survival Program.

In general, our church partners will host these camps until the child development centers are rebuilt or activities can be relocated to a safe indoor location.

Schools in the earthquake zone remain closed. Haiti's Ministry of Education says that schools in the affected areas should resume activities this month.

Our affected church partners are still receiving water and food kits. Each food kit gives a family of five one meal a day for two weeks.

UPDATE: Mar. 23, 2010 - Through our census, we have currently accounted for 79.6 percent of our program beneficiaries at the moderately and significantly affected child development centers. We are continuing to contact sponsors whose children we have specific information on.

Our affected church partners are still receiving water and food kits. Each food kit gives a family of five one meal a day for two weeks.

The kits being distributed now contain:

  • half a gallon of cooking oil
  • 12 pounds of pasta
  • 20 pounds of rice
  • 10 pounds of beans
  • 64 ounces of peanut butter
  • 12 pounds of oatmeal

Regular activities are not currently taking place at child development centers and Child Survival Program centers significantly affected by the earthquake; however, church partners affected by the earthquake continue to conduct camps to help address the psychological, physical, nutritional and cognitive needs of our registered children.

Moderately affected child development centers and Child Survival Programs are functioning, and the centers and programs not directly affected by the earthquake are conducting activities as normal.

We consider a center or program to be "functioning" when it can meet regularly, take attendance, provide trauma training, use its curriculum, and provide a meal or snack.

We are now processing letters and gifts for all child development centers in Haiti. If you send a gift, please do not specify how it should be used. It will be very difficult for our Haiti staff to follow through with the request.

UPDATE: March 12, 2010 - Schools in the area affected by the earthquake remain closed. The Minister of Haiti's National Education says that schools in the affected areas should resume activities in April.

Thousands of Haitian children continue to live in crowded tents or on the streets with no focused activity and no school. In response, Compassion Haiti staff is conducting multi-day camps to help address the psychological, physical, nutritional and cognitive needs of our registered children.

Attendance at these camps is at about 70 percent for each church partner, and it is growing.

Camp activities focus on five areas:

  • occupational therapy, including art, sports and games
  • cognitive therapy, including earthquake and natural disaster education
  • group therapy for children under 8 years old
  • individual therapy for children over 8 years old
  • immunization against polio, measles, tetanus and hepatitis A

Intensive psychological counseling will be given to the children to assist with managing their post-earthquake stress.

At the end of March, we will begin similar training camps for mothers and their babies participating in our Child Survival Program.

Affected child development centers are still receiving water and food kits. To date, more than 16,500 kits have been distributed. Each food kit gives a family of five one meal a day for two weeks.

UPDATE: March 6, 2010 - The status of some of our child development centers has recently changed.

Four child development centers previously designated as not directly affected by the earthquake have each just reported the death of child as a result of the quake.

Each of the children who died from the following four centers were visiting Port-au-Prince at the time of the earthquake:

  • HA-128
  • HA-713
  • HA-815
  • HA-816

Six other child development centers were designated as not directly affected but have recently reported several children and siblings of sponsored children as having been injured in the earthquake. They have also reported many houses were damaged.

These six centers are now considered moderately affected:

  • HA-260
  • HA-272 and HA-CS19
  • HA-602
  • HA-670
  • HA-796
  • HA-811

The status change for these six development centers raises the total number of centers affected by the earthquake, which in turn lowers the percentage of our program beneficiaries accounted for by our census. We have currently accounted for 77 percent of our program beneficiaries at the moderately and significantly affected development centers.

This downloadable PDF lists all the child development centers in Haiti and categorizes each center as: not directly affected, moderately affected or significantly affected.

For a more comprehensive explanation of how we classify each center, please read this post on our blog.

UPDATE: March 4, 2010 - Currently we are working on addressing temporary and transitional shelter needs. We are providing tarps and materials for transitional shelters first to those most in need who have not yet received help from other organizations.

We are implementing a transitional solution to address the shelter needs of the 6,000 most-affected families in our programs. We will provide waterproof tarps in urban areas and corrugated metal sheets in the countryside.

Compassion Haiti staff continue taking a census of every child, student and baby and caregiver moderately and significantly affected by the earthquake.

We have currently accounted for 86 percent of our program beneficiaries in these areas, and since the initial census update our staff have located more than 1,200 additional program beneficiaries.

We have hired several Leadership Development Program students and other part-time employees to help with the census data entry, and are now contacting sponsors about whose children we have specific information -- approximately 8,000 sponsors whose children survived, letting the sponsors know the following information:

  • if the children were injured
  • the condition of the children's houses
  • how the parents and siblings are doing

We will continue to reach out to program beneficiaries that we do not locate through the initial census through radio announcements, our church partners in outlying areas, and other sponsored children and their families.

A strategy to meet the needs of the newly orphaned children is being addressed.

Beginning this week, all of our significantly affected child development centers are holding special camps for the Compassion-assisted children. These camps take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Activities include:

  • prayer
  • sports and hobbies
  • meals
  • group and individual therapy
  • health interventions

Forty social workers and psychologists (including Leadership Development Program students) are participating in these camps, along with a medical team.

The medical team is conducting health maintenance activities by immunizing all children at risk of disease due to sanitation issues in Port-au-Prince and the surroundings communities.

We are processing letters and gifts for all child development centers not directly affected by the earthquake. However, it will take about two months to work through the backlog of letters and gifts that has accumulated since the earthquake struck.

The processing of new letters and gifts for the moderately and significantly affected child development centers still cannot be handled at this time. We anticipate working through the backlog of existing letters and gifts for these centers within the next three months.

Moderately affected child development centers and Child Survival Programs are functioning, and the child development centers and Child Survival Programs not directly affected by the earthquake are conducting program activities as normal.

We consider a center or program to be "functioning" when it can meet regularly, take attendance, provide trauma training, use its curriculum, and provide a meal or snack.

For a more comprehensive explanation of how we classify each center, please read this post on our blog.

UPDATE:Feb. 19, 2010 - To date, Haiti staff members have distributed food kits to more than 30,000 people. This includes Compassion-assisted children and their family members.

Twenty-five percent of food kits provided to church partners are available for distribution to community members who are in need of food but are not registered with Compassion.

We are working with Engineering Ministries International (EMI) to assess the buildings of church partners that were damaged by the earthquake. We are committed to their repair, and EMI will help us design new buildings and facilities that are earthquake-safe.

Haiti staff members continue to work tirelessly as they take a census of every registered child who was significantly affected by the earthquake. Staff members are back in the office building and doing some regular activities.

We have begun calling sponsors whose children we currently know did not survive the earthquake.

Although we face extreme challenges in gathering information on each child, student, church and baby and caregiver we serve, we will confirm each beneficiary's status as soon as we are able. We will contact you even if your child or student was not directly affected.

UPDATE: Feb. 16, 2010 - We continue to procure and deliver relief supplies through our staging area in Florida and our two supply warehouses in Haiti. We estimate that 1,000 emergency relief food kits are arriving in Haiti daily, some of which are donated by church partners in the Dominican Republic.

Food kits are put together in the Dominican Republic and delivered to our Port-au-Prince warehouse via large trucks. In high-risk areas, we use security assistance from the U.S. Army, though at times this draws unwanted attention. As food and relief supplies become more readily available, there will be less of a need for this.

Smaller vehicles from the Haitian church partners come to our Port-au-Prince warehouse to pick up the food kits.

Each food kit gives a family of five one meal a day for two weeks.

The following continue to be provided to our church partners and local hospitals:

  • well water purification tablets
  • tents and tarps
  • medical supplies

Activities are not currently taking place at child development centers significantly affected by the earthquake; however, moderately affected child development centers are functioning, and the child development centers and Child Survival Programs not directly affected by the earthquake are conducting program activities as normal.

Although we face extreme challenges in gathering information on each child, student, church, and baby and caregiver we serve, we will confirm each beneficiary's status as soon as we are able. We will contact you even if your child or student was not directly affected.

We have begun calling sponsors whose children we currently know did not survive the earthquake.

Rebuilding homes and restoring our church partners' facilities will be handled as part of our future relief efforts.

Processing letters and gifts for all child development centers not directly affected by the earthquake has resumed. However, it will take about two months to work through the backlog of letters and gifts that has accumulated since the earthquake struck.

If you send a gift, please do not specify how it should be used. It will be very difficult for our Haiti staff to follow through with the request.

The most helpful way to provide additional assistance is to donate to our Disaster Relief Fund so that all of the children, students and families can be helped in equal measure.

Processing new letters and gifts for the moderately affected and significantly affected child development centers still cannot be handled at this time. We anticipate working through the backlog of existing letters and gifts for these centers within the next three months.

UPDATE: Feb. 9, 2010 - Our Haiti staff members continue gathering information on each child, student, church, baby and caregiver we serve. As you wait for details, please keep in mind that communication and transportation on the ground in Haiti is still difficult.

Although we face extreme challenges because of this, we will confirm each child's status as soon as we are able. We will contact you even if your child was not directly affected.

A spokesperson for the Hames family has reported that "Remains believed to be that of our dear friend, David Hames, have been recovered from the Hotel Montana and are in custody of the U.S. government, waiting to be transferred to Dover, Delware, for final forensic examination. We don't know how long this final examination will take nor how long it will take the & military to transport the remains due to the snowstorm on the East Coast."

Please keep the Hames family in constant prayer, knowing that God promises His presence in the midst of their pain and sorrow.

Thank you for the care and concern you've shown for the Hames family.

UPDATE: Feb. 2, 2010 - This updated and downloadable PDF lists all the child development centers in Haiti, and categorizes each center as: not directly affected, moderately affected or significantly affected. For a more comprehensive explanation of how we classify each center, please visit our blog.

If your child was affected by the earthquake, we will contact you directly. Even if your child wasn't directly affected, you will be contacted, although the timing may be slower and the method may be different.

Our field staff are still working in the parking lot while Compassion Haiti building assessments continue.

Late last week, one more flight went into the Dominican Republic with shipments for Port-au-Prince.

All items from the first shipment have arrived in the Dominican Republic.

To date, informal distribution of supplies has taken place. Our field staff has determined that individual packaged kits would provide a better process and lessen the chaos. Therefore, organization and packaging of individual kits of supplies has begun.

Our field staff and church partners in the Dominican Republic are aiding in this process and committed to assembling these kits for at least one month as shipments continue to arrive.

Our church partners are working alongside our Haiti staff to locate our children and minister to their immediate needs. Our Haiti staff have begun a census to determine the status of each of our program beneficiaries in the "impact zone." This is a manual, grassroots process that is slow, deliberate and difficult, but is moving ahead steadily.

Normal activities are not currently taking place at the significantly affected centers. Relief and medical care are our first priorities.

Relief supplies are being procured and delivered to Haiti through our staging area in Florida and our two supply warehouses in Haiti. They are being provided to more than 15,000 beneficiaries and their families.

Supplies include:

  • water
  • food
  • cooking items
  • hygiene kits
  • medical supplies
  • temporary shelter
  • blankets

The following are being provided for our church partners, local hospitals and our medical team's use:

  • water purification tablets
  • tents and tarps
  • medical supplies

Rebuilding of homes and restoration of our church partners' facilities will be handled as part of our future relief efforts. Until then, many churches are gathering together to pray and comfort one another.

As they can, they will begin to provide a safe place for children to gather and play and piece back together as normal a life as possible.

Also, we ask for your continued prayers and support for the family of David Hames and so many others awaiting the return of their loved ones last seen at the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince on Jan. 12, the day of the earthquake.

We ask for God's favor as together we work with the Hames family, our Congressman and the State Department on behalf of David's safe return home.

UPDATE: Jan. 29, 2010 - This downloadable PDF lists all the child development centers in Haiti, and categorizes each center as: not directly affected, moderately affected or significantly affected.

A significantly affected child development center:

  • is located within the official "impact zone" as defined by the United Nations and Haitian government
  • has reported deaths or injuries to children
  • has reported significant damage to the church or other facilities
  • has reported significant damage to children's homes, with many homes destroyed

A moderately affected child development center:

  • is located outside the official "impact zone"
  • has not reported any child deaths
  • has reported only a few injuries to children
  • has minor damage to the church or other facilities
  • only reports damage to some children's homes

Child development centers listed as not directly affected are located outside of the official "impact zone" and have not reported any deaths or serious injuries to children or damage to any church facilities or children's homes.

The PDF does not detail how each child, leadership student or baby and caregiver we serve has been specifically affected. In most cases, we don't have that information yet, and getting specific information about each of the 65,000 children we serve will take us time to obtain and report.

In the significantly affected areas, we are searching diligently through the "tent cities" around Port-au-Prince to determine the condition of your children. The only way to do this is through a grassroots, tent-to-tent approach. The process is slow, deliberate and difficult, but it is moving ahead steadily.

Our church partners in the outlying areas are sending people to our supply stations to pick up needed supplies as well as report on the condition of their facilities, their staff and their sponsored children.

With these circumstances in mind, please be aware that at this time we cannot categorically say that all children in the "unaffected" centers are unaffected. The probability is high, but there are situations, such as travel, where a child or student may have been in the "impact zone."

We will update the PDF as we get more information, but we will not report specific child information via the Internet.

If your child was affected by the earthquake, we will contact you directly. Even if your child wasn't directly affected, you will be contacted, although the timing may be slower and the method may be different.

Accuracy in what we report is vital. As we receive information about specific children, we need to verify that it is correct. This fact-checking means that getting the information to you takes longer, but we are doing everything we can to get it to you as quickly as possible.

As you continue to wait for details about the children, students and Child Survival Programs you support, please keep in mind that the situation on the ground in Haiti is still chaotic.

Communication and transportation remain difficult. Although cell phone service has improved and there is some computer access, they are unreliable. Most times it takes two or three attempts to complete a phone call. Many roads are blocked and access to some development centers is extremely difficult.

Child development center staff are scattered. Many children and families have relocated away from the city and our church partners have no effective way of locating or contacting them all.

Relief and medical care are our first priorities. Our staff in Haiti faces the monumental task of locating thousands of children, and many of these children have immediate needs like food, water and medical attention. Our staff members are constantly making decisions about how to spend their time, and these immediate needs will always be addressed first.

Relief supplies (water, food, cooking items, medical supplies, temporary shelter, blankets, etc.) are being procured and delivered to Haiti through our staging area in Florida and our two supply warehouses in Haiti.

We are working with our strategic program partners whenever possible. These partners include Habitat for Humanity, Healing Waters International and Engineering Ministries International, among others.

Our first "on-the-ground" medical team is now treating patients. The team consists of four doctors, three nurses, two emergency medical technicians - all from the United States - and three nurses from Haiti.

Until further notice Compassion is not conducting any travel to Haiti (sponsor visits, individual relief efforts, tours, vision trips, etc.), and we are not currently able to respond to your offers to volunteer and personally assist with our relief efforts.

UPDATE: Jan. 23, 2010 - More than a week after the massive earthquake rocked Haiti, recovery efforts are in full swing and communications channels are beginning to function a bit more reliably.

Early this week all 75 of our Compassion Haiti staff in the affected area were accounted for and alive, although since then one staff member succumbed to injuries sustained during the earthquake and has passed away.

Compassion Haiti staff members are now currently working in the parking lot of the Compassion office as they assess the damage to church partners, collect information on affected centers and children, and address specific needs.

Transportation is chaotic as roads are blocked by toppled buildings and crushed cars, as well as heavy equipment in the streets. Travel to child development centers is very difficult and usually requires two to three attempts to reach our centers.

It is estimated that about 50 child development centers were seriously affected.

We received a preliminary report from the Haiti staff with information on 28 child development centers as well as child survival programs that were affected.

The below list includes these centers. For the bullets with two numbers listed on the same line, the first number identifies the child development center, it is the first five characters of your child's number. The second number identifies the child survival program associated with that center.

  • HA-204
  • HA-207
  • HA-218 and HAC40
  • HA-254
  • HA-288
  • HA-310 and HACS4
  • HA-313 and HAS5
  • HA-353
  • HA-355
  • HA-396 and HACS1
  • HA-610
  • HA-717 and HAC38
  • HA-724 and HAC13
  • HA-726
  • HA-727
  • HA-738
  • HA-739 and HACS9
  • HA-741
  • HA-751 and HAC17
  • HA-779
  • HA-784
  • HA-800
  • HA-802 and HAC30
  • HA-805
  • HA-806 and HAC35
  • HA-829
  • HA-830

We do not have complete details on the extent or type of damage each center received. However, as a snapshot, in the 28 centers there were more than:

  • 100 deaths
  • 40 severely wounded
  • 1,200 homes destroyed
  • 650 homes damaged

These numbers include children, family members, development center staff and church members.

We are in the process of purchasing approximately 500,000 pounds of supplies that will provide medical and immediate relief to our staff, church partners and Compassion's beneficiaries. This includes items like:

  • water
  • food
  • medical supplies
  • temporary shelter
  • blankets

We are also currently assembling a medical team to address the overwhelming medical needs in Haiti.

UPDATE: Jan. 14, 2010 - The situation in Haiti remains desperate as rescue and recovery efforts continue day and night.

The team from Compassion's Florida office that entered Haiti yesterday connected with the Compassion Haiti Country Director. They continue to work to get information on the status of additional staff and Compassion-assisted children and families.

We are making progress in establishing communication channels with the team in Haiti, although it is still sporadic and unreliable.

Although damaged, the Compassion Haiti office is still standing.

UPDATE: Jan. 13, 2010 - As news surfaces from the devastated country of Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake, reports indicate widespread and extensive damage as well as loss of life.

At this time, we still have not been able to contact any of our staff in Haiti.

A team from Compassion's Florida office has entered Haiti through the Dominican Republic in hopes of getting information about the status of our staff and Compassion-assisted children and families.

Jan. 12, 2010 - The international news is inundated with reports of a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti, with the epicenter located just 10 miles from the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The earthquake has produced many aftershocks, including two large ones over 5.0.

Initial reports estimate substantial and widespread damage to the country, and damaged communication lines and cell towers are making communication virtually impossible.

All levels of Compassion staff are aware of the earthquake and are working to get the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Compassion Haiti staff are contacting all centers in the affected area to assess the situation.