Wyclef Jean

AP Photo/Peter Kramer

Another natural disaster has hit way too close to home for Wyclef Jean.

"Haiti today faced a natural disaster of unprecedented proportion, an earthquake unlike anything the country has ever experienced," the Haitian musician said in a statement following today's devastating 7.0 quake in Port-au-Prince, the capital of the Caribbean island nation.

"I cannot stress enough what a human disaster this is, and idle hands will only make this tragedy worse," continued the former Fugee, whose Yéle Haiti Foundation raised relief funds in the wake of Hurricane Gustav and other tropical storms that battered the area in 2008.

And Jean, who is from the town of Croix-des-Bouquets, isn't the only celeb speaking out, of course.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who have toured the island to assist Wyclef's Yéle Haiti charit, issued the following statement: "We are devastated by the news from Haiti. We will work closely with our good friend Wyclef Jean to support the humanitarian efforts on the island and help those who have been injured and left without homes and shelter."

Meanwhile, Ashton Kutcher is one of many who have taken to Twitter to direct people to websites such as UNICEF's that are taking donations for quake victims.

Others doing the same include Rainn Wilson, Olivia Wilde, John Legend, Alyssa Milano, Selena Gomez and E!'s Sal Masekela, who also tweeted, "How is it that the poorest country in the western hemisphere continues to get the rawest of the raw deal? Prayers for all in Haiti."

The New York Times reports that the temblor, the country's worst in 200 years, leveled a hospital in the wealthy suburb of Petionville and caused widespread damage to the troubled city of 2 million. Fires burned into the night and all of Port-au-Prince was without telephone service and electricity.

Thousands are feared dead.

"Going 2 bed not knowing if all the beautiful children in the schools & orphanages we visted in Oct. r all dead or not. Our hotel destroyed," tweeted an uncharacteristically serious Wilson, who traveled to Haiti in October with his wife to help raise money for two girls' schools and an orphanage.

As for Jean's foundation, texting "Yele" to 501501 from your cell will automatically donate $5 to the Yelé Haiti Earthquake Fund (charged to your bill), or visit www.yele.org to make donations.

"Over 2 million people in Port-au-Prince tonight face catastrophe alone," the rapper said. "We must act now. President Obama has already said that the U.S. stands 'ready to assist' the Haitian people. The U.S. Military is the only group trained and prepared to offer that assistance immediately. They must do so as soon as possible. The international community must also rise to the occasion and help the Haitian people in every way possible."

(Originally published Jan. 12, 2009, at 9:30 p.m. PT)


Thanks to all the celebrity do-gooders out there who are setting a good example for their fans.

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