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Earthquake in Haiti: Celebrities and fans respond on Twitter [Updated]

Wyclef Celebrities and their fans are responding with prayers, news and calls for aid after Haiti was hit earlier today by a powerful earthquake, and many serious aftershocks, centered 10 miles offshore and near the capital city of Port-au-Prince. There's a lot of damage, and many casualties are expected -- click here for a photo gallery that's growing as more pictures come in.

Wyclef Jean, whose uncle is the Haitian ambassador to the U.S., was speaking to a person in Haiti when the quake hit. He told CNN, "We're gonna need immediate aid, and we're gonna need the United States and the international community to react immediately. This is the worst devastation that we as Haitian people have faced." His Twitter feed has unique updates. [He sent a detailed statement to @GlobalGrind around 8 p.m.]

Alyssa Milano, a power retweeter, has been urging her Twitter audience to donate to the Red Cross (with an assist from Christina Applegate) and is providing updates on the situation as the news unfolds. 

MC Hammer has shared the news with his 1.8 million followers. Rainn Wilson sent prayers.

Various tweeple and bloggers in the gossip and "Twilight" fan communities (@ThinkingofRob is on fire with updates) are urging donations to the Canadian Red Cross and elsewhere.

[Updated at 7:10 p.m.: The list of names grows -- add Marlee Matlin (who goes out of her way, with an assist, to tweet support to the Haitians in French and Dutch), Olivia Wilde (a relative newbie on Twitter, she's soliciting donations for Artists for Peace and Justice, and her tweets are especially passionate because she just visited Haiti), Omar Epps, LL Cool J, Jessica Alba, Selena Gomez and Russell Simmons.]

[Updated at 7:30 p.m.: Encouraging donations to UNICEF -- Nicole Richie, Benji Madden, Joel Madden and Demi Moore.]

[Updated at 8 p.m.: "Big Bang Theory's" Kunal Nayyar asked how to help, and a few hours later Wil Wheaton was recommending the answers Kunal got; Ryan Seacrest offers pics (delete the stray commas after the links to see them); Marlon Wayans follows @Wyclef's lead. Later updates will be after the break.]

Given the massive nature of Twitter, this is clearly only a partial list ...

... and we know that the outpouring will grow. Nothing yet from some of the microblogging site's most vocal celebs -- people such as Ashton Kutcher, John Mayer, Kirstie Alley -- but as new voices speak up, we'd love to know about them so we can pass along the word.

[Updated at 10:15 p.m.: And there's Ashton, coming in for UNICEF after a busy day (seriously)! We knew he'd be here. Also, Ministry commenter Bryan brings attention to Fonkoze.org as another charity that's helping out. Ministry's calling it a night now!]

[Updated at 11 p.m.: OK, the Ministry's a big fat liar -- we have more. P. Diddy spoke up more than once. Laz Alonso of "Avatar" stepped up, and Ben Stiller, linking to UNICEF, was in early, then again later with an eye on the news. Finally, Twitter founder Evan Williams asked: "I wonder what % of people tweeting to text a donation to Haiti have done so themselves. That's not meant to be cynicism, just curiosity."]

[Updated on Jan. 15, 2009: Just wanted to note that Kirstie Alley has been tweeting about Haiti off and on since the quake. And John Mayer did jump in. Didn't want to call them out and run!]

Let us know in comments if you spot celebs or fans keeping an eye on Haiti or trying to help. Click here for The Times' list of Twitter contacts (not celebs, this is news) who say they are in Haiti.

And all positive thoughts go out to the people affected by the quake, which one Caltech seismologist categorized earlier as similar to California's 1989 Loma Prieta shaker.

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Wyclef Jean in Oslo, Norway, for the Nobel Peace Prize Concert on Dec. 11, 2009. Credit: Chris Jackson / Getty Images.

Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Twitter (we're @LATcelebs), or become a fan on Facebook at  facebook.com/ministryofgossip.

Comments () | Archives (11)

Fonkoze.org (Twitter - @Fonkoze) is a Haitian microfinance organization that is also doing its best to provide updates from its people on the ground in Haiti and report on news as it develops. Thanks!

@Bryan -- Christie D'Zurilla here, from the blog. Thanks for the info -- I added it to the post!


i think it's great what twitter has been doing for haiti, i don't know if i would have taken the initiative to go to the american red cross and donate if it were not for the constant twitter updates telling me to do so on my news feed! it's great to see so many people reaching out and using twitter to do a lot of good and get the message out that we all need to donate!

You missed Haitian actor from Heroes Jimmy Jean-Louis who has Heroes stars like Zachary Quinto twittering for his charity:

Hollywood Unites for Haiti

Thank you!

@peterfacinelli (Peter Facinelli) and his lovely wife Jennie Garth have been Twittering about this since the quaks happened...

@peterfacinelli is supporting the cause for Haiti with a reduced donation dollar number.

I just have to mention Peter Facinelli has tweeted efforts to help Haiti, and his many fans and followers have been retweeting and doing what they can to get the word out.

So many people out there have been trying to spread the word!

Ashton Kutcher has the Red Cross text # on his Twitter, as does Peter Facinelli.

Haiti Health and Welfare Network Information Request Form


IARU Region 2 Requests Frequencies Be Kept Clear After Massive Earthquake Strikes Haiti
On Tuesday, January 12 at 4:53 PM Haiti time (2153 UTC), a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit 10 miles (15 kilometers) west of Port-au-Prince, the island nation's capital. Communications in and out of Haiti have been disrupted. No word has been received as of yet from any of Haitian Amateur Radio operators. The ARRL encourages US amateurs to be aware of the emergency operations on the following frequencies: 7.045 and 3.720 MHz (IARU Region 2 nets), 14.265, 7.265 and 3.977 MHz (SATERN nets), and 14.300 MHz (Intercontinental Assistance and Traffic Net); the International Radio Emergency Support Coalition (IRESC) is also active on EchoLink node 278173.

IARU Region 2 Area C Emergency Coordinator, Arnie Coro, CO2KK, is coordinating a multi-national response by hams. There are organized nets on 7.045 and 3.720 MHz; amateurs are asked to monitor the frequencies, but to also keep them clear of non-essential traffic. Amateur Radio operators should also be aware that emergency traffic pertaining to the Haitian earthquake is expected on the SATERN frequencies of 14.265 MHz, 7.265 MHz and 3977 MHz, according to SATERN's leader, Major Pat McPherson. The Salvation Army is accepting health and welfare traffic requests on its Web site.

"As late as 9:45 PM local time (0245 UTC), we have not been able to contact any amateur or emergency services stations in Haiti," Coro said in an e-mail. "Amateurs from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela are monitoring the 40 meter band frequency. We are still keeping watch on 7.045 MHz, hoping that someone in Haiti may have access to a transceiver and at least a car battery to run it," but so far, no HH stations have checked in. Tuesday's quake was felt in the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, and in Eastern Cuba, but no major damage was reported in either place.

The January 13 edition of The Daily DX reported that the Rev John Henault, HH6JH, made contact late Wednesday morning with the Intercontinental Assistance and Traffic Net (IATN) on 14.300 MHz; this is the IARU Global Center of Activity frequency for emergency communications. He said that he was safe, but had no power and no phone service. He was operating on battery power and hoping to get a generator running later in the day. The edition also noted that Pierre Petry, HH2/HB9AMO -- who was in Cap Haitien (about 140 km north of Port-au-Prince) is "okay"; Petry is in Haiti working for the United Nations World Food Program. Later today, he will be traveling to the capital.

The UN's 9000 peacekeepers in Haiti -- many of whom are from Brazil -- were distracted from aid efforts by their own tragedy: Many spent the night hunting for survivors in the ruins of their headquarters. "It would appear that everyone who was in the building, including my friend Hedi Annabi, the United Nations' Secretary General's special envoy, and everyone with him and around him, are dead," French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Wednesday, speaking on French radio. UN peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy would not confirm that Annabi was dead, but said he was among more than 100 people missing in the rubble of its headquarters. He said only about 10 people had been pulled out, many of them badly injured. Fewer than five bodies had been pulled from the rubble, he said. The United Nations said the capital's main airport was "fully operational" and that relief flights would begin on Wednesday, January 13.

The situation in Haiti is still chaotic. More information will be posted as soon as possible. Information is being validated and shared between many amateur groups and news sources as it unfolds.

Just for your own perspective, google "worlds richest" and go to the forbes link: there is a list of BILLIONAIRS -I said Billion !! FOUR in the top 25 of these Billionaires are Waltons (relatives of the Walmart fame) meaning EACH one of these 4 brothers & sisters are all BILLIONaire's. (not to get into the fact that the reason these 4 are so rich is because all American jobs have left for China which is where Walmart gets ALL the products that they sell to you & me at a HUGE markup, well not me: I never go there),
Now ask your self what any one person can possibly do with all that money? could you sensibly spend all that in one lifetime? My proposal is very simple: We the people will donate what we can too, but All the Billionaires first donate one half of your money to solve all the worlds messes-the Haiti Earthquake, Katrina mess, Homeless people, Folks who lost homes due to the CORRUPTION of the Banking system, whatever the mess....fix it. We're all on the same round ball and it's crumbling around you wealthy people too- so you hoarding all the wealth - SPEND some and make it better for everybody!

To all you lesser wealthy celeb's like (overpaid) Sports figures (you, tiger), Rap "moguls" (hehe...moguls...geeeez), Movie stars, Talk show Hostess's (you, Oprah), and then you overpaid CEO's & Politicians......Sure, It's very pretty inside your gates and manicured lawns & whatnot, but you still have to come out into the real world where it's all falling apart- so why not help make it better with Money instead of your noble "donating your time" or those that do donate money- it's always a Small portion of what your easily capable of.
Give til it hurts ! your famous...you'll get more !


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