U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday Haiti's earthquake had inflicted "heartbreaking" loss and that he would meet former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush on Saturday to discuss the crisis.
"I want the people of Haiti to know that we will do what it takes to save lives and to help them get back on their feet," Obama said. "The scale of the devastation is extraordinary ... and the losses are heartbreaking."
Tens of thousands of people are feared dead from Tuesday's major quake in the Caribbean island nation. The Pan American Health Organization estimated the death toll could be 50,000 to 100,000.
Obama said the American people had responded with great generosity to appeals for donations and that his meeting with Clinton and Bush at the White House will review how to keep help flowing, in what will be a lengthy recovery process.
"It will take time to establish distribution points so that we can insure that resources are distributed safely and effectively and in an orderly fashion," Obama said.
ReutersLast Mod: 16 Ocak 2010, 12:08