Haiti's ambassador: 'A major catastrophe'

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by CNN

wfaa.com

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 11:36 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 14 at 5:12 PM

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The Haitian ambassador to the United States said "Haiti is at an assessment stage" because a massive earthquake hit close to dark Tuesday, and "people couldn't assess the damage."

Quite a few government ministries have been hit, Ambassador Ray Joseph told reporters Wednesday morning at Haiti's embassy in Washington. Luckily, when the quake hit just before 5 p.m. ET, workers had already had left their offices.

"It is a major catastrophe for Haiti," he said, adding that the United States was the first to offer help after the quake struck.

Joseph told reporters that it is crucial to assess the condition of the airport at Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, so aid can start coming in.

"God has given, God has taken away," he said, urging that the living must be the priority right now.

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