Haiti's Presidential Palace...you can imagine how bad the rest is.

Haiti's Presidential Palace...you can imagine how bad the rest is.

I know the national media is telling us to be obsessed with stupid television network decisions and that a former baseball player is the new Hitler, but some actual terrible news has happened in the last several hours.

Haiti, a nation which has suffered many horrible economic and political upheavals and deprivations just had an earthquake that may rival the Christmas Tsunami of 2004 in its scale.

The gleaming white presidential palace lay in ruins, its domes fallen on top of flattened walls.

Bloodied and dazed survivors gathered in the open and corpses were pinned by debris. Numerous powerful aftershocks rattled Port-au-Prince into the night.

The United Nations said a large number of its personnel in Haiti were unaccounted for after a five-story building at the headquarters of the U.N. mission collapsed.

As one might expect in a bitterly poor country, the building standards were sub-par and mostly concrete without substantial building standards, the results will be predictable, but still tragic.

Victor Tsai, a seismologist at the National Earthquake Information Center of the United States Geological Survey, said the depth of Tuesday’s earthquake was only about six miles and the quake was a 9 on a 1-to-10 scale that measures ground shaking. “We expect substantial damage from this event,” he said.

Raymond Joseph, Haiti’s ambassador to the United States, said in an interview on CNN that he had little information about the extent of damage but said the suffering inflicted on the was likely to be “catastrophic.”

Greg Mitchell has more extensive real-time coverage of the event.

Daily Kos Diarist DallasDoc has a list of several places you can donate to to assist in relief efforts.

(photo via Reuters)

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