SA's prayers are with Haiti - Zuma

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday conveyed condolences to the people of Haiti and President Rene Garcia Pr,val following the major earthquake in that country on Tuesday.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected by the earthquake either emotionally and psychologically or through the loss of life of loved ones or destroyed infrastructure," said Zuma.

The 7.0 magnitude earthquake, which was the strongest ever recorded in the area, reportedly collapsed a hospital in a hillside district of Port-au-Prince.

The presidential palace, buildings of the finance and public works ministries, the parliament building and a cathedral in Port-au-Prince were also damaged.

The earthquake, which was centered 15km southwest of the capital city at a depth of 10km, struck at about 4:53pm local time.

The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation said that it had not been informed of any South Africans affected by the disaster that has left scores of people dead and others injured.

The ministry, however, urged those who have family members in Haiti to contact the ministry's Consular Division on 012 351 100. The department will continue to monitor events in that country.

Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has described the events as a tragedy.

"It is a tragedy that defies expression; a tragedy that compels all people to the highest levels of human compassion and solidarity. From Africa, the ancestral home of Haiti, we send our profoundest condolences and love to the thousands of children, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters worst affected.

"To the entire nation, our love and wishes for strength and courage in this most difficult of times," said Aristide.