The 2010 Mahakumbh Mela has been a huge pilgrim draw with five million people visiting the holy cities of Rishikesh and Haridwar in the first two days for a dip in the Ganga. The extra rush has been largely because of the auspicious alignment of planets this year and a solar eclipse that coincided with the new moon on Jan 15.
US President Barack Obama announced Thursday the US was providing an initial $100 million in aid to Haiti as military and civilian rescue teams arrived on the ground to search for survivors of the massive earthquake.
The UN was also to launch on Friday a flash appeal for 550 million dollars in emergency funds to assist the quake-ravaged country. Most of the urgently needed money will go to provide food, water and medical supplies to help the quake victims immediately.