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Massive Quake Flattens Haitian Capital
January 12, 2010

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Much of Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, lies in ruins as the result of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck near the capital city a few minutes before 5 p.m. on Tuesday. Initial reports were of widespread damage to large numbers of buildings, including the Presidential Palace.

The number of people who have lost their homes as a result of the quake is expected to be in the tens of thousands. Hospitals were already reported as overflowing, and the number of dead and injured was feared to be very high.

Strong aftershocks rocked the capital, sending fresh waves of fear into those stranded in the streets. Haiti, one of the world's most impoverished countries, was ill-equipped for such an earthquake, the strongest in 200 years.

United Nations peacekeepers were frantically trying to rescue people trapped in rubble. Volunteers from nearby countries were on the way as of early Wednesday.

Citizens of the Dominican Republic, which shares an island with Haiti, reported feeling the quake but saw none of the widespread damage that was seen on the streets of Port-au-Prince and surrounding cities and towns.

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