San Diego crews go to Haiti to help with rescues & recovery - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego crews go to Haiti to help with rescues & recovery

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8) - Help from the U.S. military is on the way to Haiti, after a powerful earthquake.

The USS Carl Vinson was on its way home to San Diego when the men and women on board were diverted to the Caribbean to answer the call for help. The crew will join a wave of American search and rescue teams in Haiti.

Less than a day after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocks Haiti, help is on the way.

The Red Cross has already hit the ground near Port au Prince, which is almost entirely leveled. Chris Marek says most of the rescue teams are being deployed from the southeast, but that the San Diego chapter is helping raise money for supplies.

"We're asking for people to help us any way we can and donations are very much needed right now," Marek said.

President Obama has promised a full-scale rescue and humanitarian effort, since the poorest country in the western hemisphere has almost no emergency services of its own.

The USS Carl Vinson was on its way back home when it was called on to help. The Navy ship will pick up a helicopter squadron in Florida before arriving in Haiti Thursday.

The country's prime minister reports that more than 100,000 people are dead. Thousands are still buried, while the injured lay in the streets.

Reverend Joseph Maitre and his wife Josephine, who recently founded a church in North Park, have been glued to their TV. They've been in touch with friends, but still haven't heard from family living in their home country.

"You cannot really look - it's heartbreaking," Maitre said. "I am very sad to see what happened.. I'm in pain in my heart."

With the devastation so widespread in a country that was already impoverished, Marek says it's very possible some San Diego Red Cross volunteers will also make their way east.

"San Diego is always there for everybody. People were there for us in 2007, and this is one of those instances where this is going to be a very long process for the people of Haiti," he said.

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