NPR logo Obama Puts Haiti's Devastation In Perspective; Pledges Ongoing Aid

Obama Puts Haiti's Devastation In Perspective; Pledges Ongoing Aid

President Barack Obama, told Haitian President Rene Preval the U.S. commitment to Haiti will endure. i

President Barack Obama reaches to shake the hands with Haitian President Rene Preval in the White House Rose Garden. Alex Brandon/AP Photo hide caption

toggle caption Alex Brandon/AP Photo
President Barack Obama, told Haitian President Rene Preval the U.S. commitment to Haiti will endure.

President Barack Obama reaches to shake the hands with Haitian President Rene Preval in the White House Rose Garden.

Alex Brandon/AP Photo

Some sobering perspective from President Barack Obama a moment ago on the extent of the tragedy in Haiti after its devastating Jan. 12 earthquake.

— More than 200,000 people are thought to have been killed. A "terrible incident" of similar size in the United States, Obama said, would kill 8 million people.

— And a disaster of equal proportion in the U.S., Obama said, would mean that "one third of the country; 100 million people" would suddenly be without homes, electricity or water.

Obama has just met with Haitian President Rene Preval, and the two leaders are making remarks in the Rose Garden outside the Oval Office.

"America's commitment to Haiti's reconstruction must endure and will endure," Obama said.

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