Haiti

International disaster relief charity ShelterBox responds to Haiti earthquake

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International disaster relief charity ShelterBox is responding to the scenes of destruction in Haiti.

A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) is currently being mobilised with two SRT members from the USA and one from the UK leading the response.

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Caribbean island of Haiti at close to 2200 GMT on Tuesday, January 12. Initial reports state that hundreds of people are feared dead while thousands of people have been left homeless.

ShelterBox General Manager Lasse Petersen said: 'We're doing everything we can to ensure immediate aid reaches the people of Haiti. The process of getting our team on the ground is well under way.

'We were in Haiti eighteen months ago, delivering aid after a series of hurricanes left thousands homeless. We'll now be working closely with our contacts on the ground in the country to make sure we get aid to the people who need it most during the current crisis. Our thoughts go out to the people who have been affected by this disaster.'

Buildings destroyed

The earthquake, described as the worst to hit Haiti in centuries, was centred 10 miles to the south west of the islands capital, Port-au-Prince. The initial earthquake was followed by two aftershocks measuring 5.9 and 5.5 in magnitude.

Many buildings have been devastated including the HQ of the UN mission and the presidential palace. The USA have been quick to respond to the disaster.

President Barack Obama said in a statement: 'My thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected by this earthquake. We are closely monitoring the situation and we stand ready to assist the people of Haiti.'