Massive Earthquake Jolts Haiti

Donate NowThe U.S. Geological Survey reports that a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti 10 miles southwest of the capital of Port au Prince at 4:53 p.m. Eastern, Tuesday, Jan. 12.

The initial quake was followed by two aftershocks.

Reliable damage and casualty estimates are unavailable at this time. CRS staffers in Baltimore have been in touch with Haiti staff. CRS/Haiti reports that those who remained at the office after 4 p.m. are safe. The condition of other CRS staff is unknown at this time (7:30 p.m. Eastern).

Haiti map

Map courtesy U.S. government

CRS/Haiti reports that cell phone use is unavailable. They communicated with Baltimore via land line. They reported that the CRS office building is still standing, but others, including one near the office, had collapsed. They reported that clouds of dust and smoke surround the city of Port au Prince. Before the phone connection was lost they characterized the situation as choatic, and feared many dead in what they called “a major hit … a direct hit.”

A tsunami watch was issued for Haiti and nearby islands.

CRS will continue to update with information as it becomes available. Our prayers and thoughts are with the people of Haiti and all CRS/Haiti staff and their loved ones.

Recent CRS Haiti stories.

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26 Responses to “Massive Earthquake Jolts Haiti”

  1. Marilyn Crane Says:

    Looking for status on Charles “Chuck’Dietsch, my brother, who was on a mission trip in Haiti and probably at the ‘Mission House’ at the time of the quake.

    Our prayers are with everyone.

  2. Susan Cotter Says:

    God help these poor people.

  3. Lea Ann Says:

    We are looking for information about Eddie Bazin who is with the Adelphos School in Port Au Prince and PCM (Preaching Christ to the Multitudes) Any information about the school or Eddie and family would be appreciated. We are part of his state side team.

  4. Sue Keller Says:

    Looking for info./updates on guests at the Hotel Montana. My brother-in-law, Walt Ratterman, is staying there. He is involved in charitable work bringing electricity via solar power to those in need in third world countries. My sister is unable to reach him.

  5. Tricia Says:

    May God bless everyone working in Haiti to respond to this crisis.

  6. Stephanie Says:

    @ marilyn crane… check out this website,,0,3827952.story

    I found it for a friend of mine who also knows charles. I hope everything works out for you and your family. My prayers are with you.

  7. ilia Says:

    My prayers are for them. Haitians have suffered enough, but they will prevail in this time of need. JesusChrist is always there with the suffering. He will provide.

    Thanks to United States and all the nations that are there to help. May God Bless.

  8. Mary Says:

    I ask all Catholics to pray for the poor in Haiti. Also, if you have the means to send help, money, or whatever they need please do so in the name of our saviour Jesus Christ. This is what Jesus wants us to do.

  9. Joel Says:

    Anyone hear if Marianne Leymann is ok? She is elderly and we do not know if she is with her children, or what.

  10. Kay Furlani Says:

    I pray for the people of Haiti, and I pray that this tragedy will bring forth the best in us humans to truly help this poor and struggling nation.

  11. Tara O'Shea Says:

    Trying to find status of Fr Simon, Marie Manigat, and children at Timkatec school in Petionville.

  12. jschmidt Says:

    Marilyn- Glad to hear Chuck is OK. I’m a parishioner at Sacred Heart where he is a deacon. The whole church is praying for his recovery.
    John Schmidt

  13. jschmidt Says:


    interview with the husband of the women rescued. Talks about Chuck Dietsch as well

  14. Sister Mary Anne Burkardt Says:

    We have six associates working in our Nursing Home from Haiti. Anyone have news of families: Dume, Hyacinthe, Blaise, Dobard, Saloman, Jacques, St.Felix–THANKS

  15. Tensegrities » Blog Archive » Responding to the earthquake in Haiti Says:

    […] Catholic Relief Services is also organizing its office in Haiti, and has announced an appeal for donations to deal with the chaos; […]

  16. Nancy Harvey Says:

    We have a satellite-based communication kit in MD available (as of 6 PM ET) to provide voice and data services when your response teams arrives there. Please email me for more info. Praying for everyone.

  17. Ed Olearczyk Says:

    For those who can, please open your wallets and donate to CSR Haitian Relief. Everyone else please forward this article to as many family, friends and associates as possible. All we can do now is pray and offer financial aid. They are in Gods hands.

  18. Judy Allonby Says:

    Searching for information on CRS Haiti staff member Farid Moise. Prayers for all Haiti.

  19. Chantal Edmond Says:

    I am Haitian.I live in N.J. I am looking for my brother: Fred Edmond who works for CRS in the Delmas office in Haiti. I am unable to locate him. Can the Maryland office provide me with information

  20. Mary Says:

    Does anyone have direct news of the Missionaries of Charity sisters, the 4 houses in Port au Prince. I know Delmas is ok. This news you give will go directly to other MC’s. thanks

  21. Kelly Wright Says:

    I too am looking for information concerning the well-being of my friend Walt Ratterman who was staying at the Hotel Montana. Please convey any info possible.

  22. Lily... Says:

    Praying for hands to be opened.
    As soon as relief is in your hands release it.

  23. Lily... Says:

    Working in the Name of Jesus Our Savior and King.
    Open hands come from open hearts, pray for the assembly line of relief to move forward.

    Praise God for willing spirits and helpful hearts.

  24. Mary Says:

    Missionaries of Charity in Haiti–all sisters, all patients, all children, all 4 houses ALIVE but buildings damaged.

  25. Randy Beeman Says:

    Eddy Bazin with PCM in Port au Prince is fine. He and his wife are are not able to stay in their home or the church. The church had some damaage, lost a cafeteria for the school. The church has lost 200 members.

    Randy Beeman

  26. Evelyn Fiore Says:

    Our Lord must have been in need of so many angels when this earthquake hit… My prayers and my arms are around the country of Haiti today… I am praying for them from the bottoms of my soul where my sweet Jesus rest… I known he will hear the crys of his children… They have seen so much poverty through the years…. May this been their year of peace…..Evelyn FIore

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