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Blog Posts by Mindel DeLaTorre

Helping Haiti

by Mindel DeLaTorre, Chief of the International Bureau
January 14, 2010 - 03:00 PM


On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, an earthquake struck off the coast of Haiti, causing major damage and loss of life in Haiti, a country of 9 million people. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) called it the strongest earthquake in this area since 1770. The epicenter of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit 10 miles west of the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince and its 2 million inhabitants. Other parts of Haiti apparently have not suffered the extent of damage that Port-au-Prince has, where loss of human life and infrastructure devastation is expected to be very high.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is undertaking a variety of efforts, in conjunction with our Federal partners and international agencies, to aid Haiti in its recovery. We are doing so now and our commitment is for the longer-term. Chairman Julius Genachowski and the entire agency convey our sympathies and ongoing concerns to the people of Haiti for the loss of life and destruction in the country. In a statement the day after the earthquake, Chairman Genachowski offered that “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti during this terrible tragedy.” The FCC also is taking specific actions to help, including:

  • Issuing a press release by the FCC Media Bureau on procedures for noncommercial educational stations to follow in order to waive the Commission’s rules for fundraising appeals to support relief efforts;

  • Reaching out to the U.S. Agency for International Development on Haitian relief and restoration efforts as it relates to telecommunications;


  • Contacting regulatory counterparts in Haiti expressing FCC’s condolences and concern and offering immediate and longer-term assistance;

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