Thousands Feared Dead in Haiti After Quake

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It's still impossible to tell how many people were killed in Tuesday's 7.0 earthquake in Haiti.  Early death toll estimates range from the thousands to half a million.

Among those confirmed dead is the archbishop of Port-Au-Prince, Monsignor Joseph Serge Miot, who's a prominent leader of the Catholic church. At least 14 U.N. workers were also killed after their headquarters were destroyed by the quake.

"Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed," Haitian President Rene Preval said. "There are a lot of schools that have a lot of dead people in them."

The U.S. State Department is now checking into reports that at least three Americans were killed in Haiti's earthquake.

Bill Horan, president and chief operating officer of Operation Blessing International, spoke with CBN News about the work being done in Haiti.  Click play to watch the interview.

CBN News International Correspondent George Thomas is also headed to Haiti.  Click here for his comments on the devastation there.

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

See an interactive slide show of the destruction from the Haiti earthquake.

Click here to read a statement in response to reports surrounding Dr. Pat Robertson's recent comments on Haiti.

Haiti, one of the most crowded cities in the world, took a near direct hit from the quake. Some 3 million people may be affected and thousands are feared dead -- many crushed under collapsed buildings.

"I understand that... it is reported that maybe there are more buildings down than buildings up," Pastor Jean Lilite of Grace Haitian Church said.

Even Haiti's presidential palace, a grand structure in the center of Port-Au-Prince, did not escape the overwhelming force of the quake. The United Nations building collapsed as well.

President Obama says Haiti has the full support of the U.S. and aid from all over America is already on its way.

"For a country and a people who are no strangers to hardship and suffering, this tragedy seems especially cruel and incomprehensible," Obama said.

Rescue teams from other nations from Britain to Taiwan are also ramping up and rushing off to Haiti.

"We've got two dogs going with us--search and rescue dogs. We will use them initially to check the scenes," said Peter Stevenson, operations commander of the UK International Search & Rescue Team. "They will give us any indication as whether there's any live casualties."

Several passengers made it out of Haiti on a flight they boarded just after the quake caused the airport to crash down all around them.

"It was a big shake. We actually thought it was something that hit the building," one person recalled.

Many Haitians have fled the dire poverty of their homeland. Now as they desperately try to reach the loved ones they left behind, they're finding much of Haiti's communication systems have been wiped out.

A group of Haitians living in Houston say they're asking for help, both divine as well as human.

"We just want the city of Houston to really pray for us so that God will protect the people of Haiti," Marie Batiste of the Haitian Multi Cultural Association said.

The Haitian embassy in Washington, D.C., is busy answering calls from families and taking donations that are pouring in from around the U.S.

Flags there were also lowered to half staff.

Embassy workers say they've been overwhelmed with people offering help and prayers. What is most needed at this point is money.

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John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Anchor

John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at