If you’ve watched the news, been online, or spoken to anyone today, you probably know that a 7.0 magnitude quake hit last night 10 miles outside of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince—the strongest earthquake in Haiti in over 200 years.
The city's destruction is staggering: thousands of buildings have been leveled, including the Haitian National Palace, but more importantly, there are countless people missing and trapped in the rubble. Officials say that some three million residents, or one-third of the island nation's residents, have been directly affected by the disaster.
It’s no secret that Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Western world, and it needs our help now more than ever. Consider making a donation at one of these active, on-the-ground charities:
Red Cross: Text “HAITI” to “90999” to give $10 (your cell phone bill will be charged); donate online; or call 800-RED-CROSS
Haitian Musician Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti Foundation: Text “YELE” to 501501 to donate $5
Mercy Corps: Donate online; call (888) 256-1900; complete form and send check to Mercy Corps, Dept. W, PO Box 2669, Portland, OR 97208-2669
PLUS more ways to donate (added Jan. 19, 2010):
For the latest updates on Haiti’s disaster relief, visit the U.S. State Department website. Below, listen to Tracy Reines, Director of Response Operations for the American Red Cross, discuss the latest for the disaster response to Haiti.
Adrien Glover is Travel + Leisure's online deputy editor.