Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, has been struck with a devastating earthquake this evening. According to initial reports, the 7+ magnitude quake and aftershocks have toppled buildings including hospitals and hotels through out the country's capital region.
The Episcopal Diocese of Haiti is, numerically speaking, the largest of the dioceses of the Episcopal Church.
We're monitoring developments overnight on the Cafe´. A number of Episcopal dioceses have ongoing partnership relationships with the Diocese of Haiti and are starting to post reports about what they're hearing from their friends.
The State Department toll free number for family members who are looking for info about the safety of either Americans or Haitians in Port au Prince: 888-407-4747
You can follow CNN's Twitter page on the Haiti quake here. Most communications to Haiti have been cut off but text messages are still getting out for the time being.
The Rev. Lauren Stanley, an appointed missionary to Haiti who is home in Virginia tonight writes to us at the Cafe to say that we have three missionaries there right now.
The Rev. Canon Oge Beauvoir is the Dean of the Theological Seminary; Ms. Mallory Holding and Mr. Jude Harmon are both Young Adult Service Corps missionaries. All three live in downtown Port au Prince, quite close to the Presidential Palace, which we understand is damaged if not destroyed.
Canon Oge is canonically resident in Long Island. Ms Mallory is from the Diocese of Chicago and her mother is the new Canon to the Ordinary in San Diego. Mr. Jude is from the Diocese of Massachusetts.
UPDATE: 1 a.m. The New York Times has been gleaning the web for news and photos.
Some Haitians have turned to the Web to share information about the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck about 10 miles southwest of the capital of Port-au-Prince on Tuesday evening. Any readers who are in Haiti or in touch with people there are encouraged to use the comment thread below to share first-hand accounts with us, or to point to them on other Web sites.
See video below raw footage from CBS news: