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Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Haiti hit by 7.0-magnitude earthquake; buildings leveled in Port-au-Prince - washingtonpost.com
"A powerful earthquake shook Haiti on Tuesday, leveling buildings in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and sending panicked residents into the streets, as beleaguered authorities braced for major casualties. The quake, which had a preliminary magnitude of 7.0, occurred about 4:45 p.m. and was centered about 10 miles west of the capital. The U.S. Geological Survey said it was the largest temblor ever recorded in Haiti, and witnesses reported a series of strong aftershocks. "People are out in the streets, crying, screaming, shouting," said Karel Zelenka, director of the Catholic Relief Services office in Haiti. "They see the extent of the damage," he said, but could do little to rescue people trapped under rubble because night had fallen. "There are a lot of collapsed buildings," Zelenka said in a telephone interview from Port-au-Prince. "This will be a major, major disaster." He reported that poorly constructed shantytowns and other buildings had crumbled in huge clouds of dust. Near the CRS headquarters, a supermarket was "completely razed," he said, and a gasoline station and a church were reduced to rubble. Among the worst-hit areas was the impoverished Carrefour section of Port-au-Prince near the sea. "