"The largest earthquake ever recorded in Haiti devastated parts of the country, including the capital, on January 12, 2010. The quake, centered about 15 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, had a magnitude of 7.0. A series of strong aftershocks followed. Witnesses are describing the damage as severe and catastrophic. [...] The arrival of humanitarian supplies has begun, but access to Port-au-Prince and the distribution of aid to people in need is difficult and hampered by a number of significant challenges that are impeding rescue efforts and movement. People are gathering in open spaces and some are reportedly leaving Port-au-Prince for other areas in Haiti. [...] The U.S. embassy in Haiti also began facilitating the evacuation of U.S. citizens. On January 14, President Obama announced $100 million in humanitarian assistance to Haiti to provide significant resources to meet the immediate needs on the ground. The relief effort is expected to last for many months, although it is anticipated that recovery and reconstruction will begin as soon as possible in a parallel effort.The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on January 13, 2010, that it is temporarily halting the deportation of Haitians. On January 15, 2010, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months to Haitian nationals who were in the United States as of January 12, 2010. The focus of this report is on the immediate crisis in Haiti as a result of the earthquake and the U.S. and international response to date."
CRS Report for Congress, R41023