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U.S. To Deploy Thousands Of Troops To Haiti Quake Area


Tens of thousands of people are feared dead
U.S. President Barack Obama has said the United States is sending thousands of troops to Haiti and making an initial $100 million relief effort for the disaster-stricken country.

"This will mean more of the life-saving equipment, food, water, and medicine that will be needed. This investment will grow over the coming year as we embark on the long-term recovery from this unimaginable tragedy," Obama said from Washington.

Obama said the troops will assist with disaster relief and security after the January 12 catastrophic earthquake.

The U.S. president said America will "stand in solidarity" with Haiti. He also announced that the U.S. military has secured the Port-au-Prince airport, and an airlift for aid was set up.

Earlier, a U.S. Army official, Major Brian Fickel, said that up to 3,500 soldiers from the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division will be sent to the island. The first 100 soldiers are scheduled to arrive by the end of the day.

They come on top of some 2,200 Marines, also to be sent, as the military prepares to help with security needs, search and rescue and the delivery of humanitarian supplies.

Meanwhile, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has announced the IMF will provide $100 million in aid to Haiti.

A coordinator for the Haitian Red Cross, Victor Jackson, said today that the death toll could be between 45,000-50,000.

The Red Cross has estimated three million people -- a third of Haiti's population -- may need emergency relief.