Biden 'saddened' by earthquake in Haiti

President BidenJoe BidenHouse passes 8B defense policy bill House approves bill to ease passage of debt limit hike Senate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale MORE offered his condolences to Haiti Saturday after the country was hit by a massive earthquake that has killed over 300 people.

In what is already a challenging time for the people of Haiti, I am saddened by the devastating earthquake that occurred in Saint-Louis du Sud, Haiti this morning,” Biden tweeted.

“Through USAID, we are supporting efforts to assess the damage and assist efforts to recover and rebuild,” he added.

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Biden authorized assistance to Haiti earlier on Saturday, soon after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit, through the United States Agency for International Development.

Haiti's Office of Civil Protection Director General Jerry Chandler told The New York Times at least 304 deaths have been confirmed hours structures fell to the ground due to the earthquake. 

Search and rescue efforts are in progress as the prime minister has declared a one-month state of emergency.

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“The most important thing is to recover as many survivors as possible under the rubble,” Prime Minister Ariel Henry said.

“We have learned that the local hospitals, in particular that of Les Cayes, are overwhelmed with wounded, fractured people,” Henry added.

The earthquake caused tremors that were felt 200 miles away in the neighboring country Jamaica. 

The earthquake comes during a tumultuous time for Haiti following the assassination of its president, Jovenel Moïse. Moïse was fatally shot on July 7 at his private residence outside of Port-au-Prince, and his wife was injured in the attack.