Michelle Obama visits quake-ravaged Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti The first lady and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, took a helicopter tour of Port-au-Prince, where hundreds of thousands of homeless quake victims live in squalid temporary settlements, before landing at the destroyed national palace to meet President Rene Preval.

"It's powerful. The devastation is definitely powerful," Obama told reporters.

The Jan. 12 earthquake leveled much of Port-au-Prince and other cities, and killed an estimated 230,000 in and around the capital. The U.S. has provided nearly $1 billion in humanitarian aid and pledged an additional $1 billion to help the impoverished country recover.

Obama and Biden's visit is intended to underscore U.S. commitment to the Haitian reconstruction effort and to thank American officials who have worked in the country for the past three months, the administration said in a statement.

A number of past and present world leaders have visited Haiti since the earthquake, including former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

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