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Russian president sends condolences over Haitian quake

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, January 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday sent his condolences to his Haitian counterpart Rene Preval over the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the Kremlin said.

"Please, forward my deep condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims, words of sincerest sympathy, and support to those affected by the natural disaster," the telegram from the Russian head of state said.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti on Tuesday. The quake's epicenter was 10 miles southwest of the Haitian capital, at a depth of just 6 miles. It was followed by dozens of aftershocks, including two measuring 5.9 and 5.0.

Presidential palace and the headquarters of the UN mission in the country lie in ruins in Port-au-Prince.

The parliament building and the ministries of finance, justice, labor, culture and communications were seriously damaged.

No official figures on casualties are currently available, but many are feared to be dead in the strongest quake in the Caribbean Region in two centuries.

The European Union has allocated 3 million euros ($4.3 million) in aid, and U.S. President Barack Obama gave orders to assist the impoverished Caribbean nation.

The State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development and U.S. Southern Command have started to coordinate and estimate the volume of food supplies.

Nicaragua will send special brigade to repair electric power lines, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said.

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