WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama on Tuesday said the United States stood "ready to assist" Haiti after a powerful 7.0 quake rocked the impoverished Caribbean nation.
"My thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected by this earthquake. We are closely monitoring the situation and we stand ready to assist the people of Haiti," he said.
The White House said Obama was notified about the quake at 5:52 pm (2252 GMT), and asked staff to find out if embassy personnel were safe.
"The Department of State, USAID and the United States Southern Command have begun working to coordinate an assessment and any such assistance," the White House statement said.