Clinton heads to Haiti with relief supplies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left for Haiti on Saturday on a plane carrying relief supplies for the quake-stricken nation, U.S. officials said.

Clinton and U.S. Agency for International Development Director Rajiv Shah plan to meet Haitian President Rene Preval and U.S. relief workers on their one-day trip to Haiti, where the death toll from Tuesday’s earthquake was estimated at up to 200,000 people.

U.S. officials said Clinton’s plane would be carrying several thousands dollars worth food and supplies for 140 U.S. embassy staff in Haiti.

She is also bringing in 100 cases of emergency food rations and 100 cases of water, they said.

Haitian authorities said on Friday they believed as many as 200,000 people died in the quake that devastated the impoverished Caribbean nation and that three-quarters of the capital, Port-au-Prince, would need to be rebuilt.

Clinton, who cut short a trip to the Asia-Pacific region on Wednesday because of the earthquake, said on Friday her trip to Haiti was aimed at getting an up-close look at both the damage and the unfolding relief effort.

“We will also be conveying very directly and personally to the Haitian people our long-term unwavering support, solidarity and sympathies,” Clinton told a news briefing.

Writing by Andrew Quinn based on a State Department pool report; editing by Vicki Allen