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U.S. Can't Contact Thousands of Americans in Haiti

Friday, 15 Jan 2010 08:44 AM

The U.S. ambassador to Haiti says his embassy is doing its best but has no way to check on the 40,000 or more Americans estimated to be in the country when a devastating earthquake struck.

About 450 Americans have been evacuated since Tuesday's disaster. Ambassador Kenneth Merten says "a steady stream" of U.S. citizens has been showing up at the airport and embassy seeking help leaving the country, but so far not in overwhelming numbers. Merten spoke Friday on NBC's "Today" show.

The death of an embassy employee — cultural affairs officer Victoria DeLong — has been confirmed, after her home collapsed. Three other Americans are known to be missing. The State Department says it's been in contact with only about 1,000 U.S. citizens in Haiti.

In all, tens of thousands of people are feared dead there.

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The U.S. ambassador to Haiti says his embassy is doing its best but has no way to check on the 40,000 or more Americans estimated to be in the country when a devastating earthquake struck.About 450 Americans have been evacuated since Tuesday's disaster. Ambassador Kenneth...
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