.- The earthquake that struck Haiti just before 5 p.m. local time has claimed thousands of lives, according to news reports coming from the island. Among the many lives lost in the catastrophe are those of Catholic clergy and missionaries.
The Italian daily La Repubblica reported the death of Archbishiop Serge Miot, Archbishop of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince at 4:44 a.m. (CDT). According to the brief report, his body was found in the rubble of the archbishop's office. They also reported that the Vicar General, Msgr. Benoit, was still missing.
According to the Vatican's Fides news agency, Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti, Archbishop Bernardito Auza was reported as saying:
"Port-au-Prince is totally devastated. The cathedral, the Archbishop's Office, all of the big churches, all of the seminaries have been reduced to rubble. The same luck for the Ministry buildings, the Presidential Palace, the schools. The Parish Priest of the Cathedral, who was spared, told me that the archbishop of Port-au-Prince would have died under the rubble, together with hundreds of seminarians and priests that are under the ruins."