Hati Earthquake

Topics: United Nations, World Food Programme, Barack Obama Pages: 3 (890 words) Published: December 29, 2012
Haiti devastated by massive earthquake
"All of a sudden everything was falling apart... there was no place to hide" A massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake has struck the Caribbean nation of Haiti. The extent of the devastation is still unclear but there are fears thousands of people may have died. Haiti's worst quake in two centuries hit south of the capital Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, wrecking the presidential palace, UN HQ and other buildings. A "large number" of UN personnel were reported missing by the organisation. Many people have spent the night outside amid fears of more aftershocks. The Red Cross says up to three million people have been affected. Describing the earthquake as a "catastrophe", Haiti's envoy to the US said the cost of the damage could run into billions. A number of nations, including the US, UK and Venezuela, are gearing up to send aid. The quake, which struck about 15km (10 miles) south-west of Port-au-Prince, was quickly followed by two strong aftershocks of 5.9 and 5.5 magnitude. The tremor hit at 1653 (2153 GMT) on Tuesday, the US Geological Survey said. Phone lines to the country failed shortly afterwards. There is still no official word on casualties and the extent of the devastation is only now becoming clearer with dawn breaking. China has already indicated in reports in state media that eight of its peacekeepers are buried and feared dead, with another 10 unaccounted for. The AFP news agency quoted the Jordanian army as saying three of its peacekeepers had been killed and 21 wounded. The Brazilian army said four of its peacekeepers were killed and a large number were missing. A French official told AFP about 200 people were missing in the collapsed Hotel Montana, which is popular with tourists. There have also been some reports of looting overnight.

Rachmani Domersant, an operations manager with the Food for the Poor charity, told Reuters that overnight the capital was in total darkness. "You have thousands of people...
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