100,000 feared dead in horrific Haiti quake
More than 100,000 people were feared dead in Haiti after a calamitous earthquake razed homes, hotels, and hospitals, leaving the capital in ruin and bodies strewn in the streets.world Updated: Jan 14, 2010 19:02 IST
More than 100,000 people were feared dead in Haiti after a calamitous earthquake razed homes, hotels, and hospitals, leaving the capital in ruin and bodies strewn in the streets.
Schools collapsed, trapping the dead inside, and the cries of desperate victims escaped from flattened buildings in the centre of the capital Port-au-Prince, which an AFP correspondent said was "mostly destroyed."
A massive aid operation swung into action, with rescue teams set to fly in from across the globe to try to pull victims from the debris, bringing desperately-needed medicines and food, as a humanitarian crisis unfolded.
Casualty figures were impossible to calculate, but Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive told CNN the final death toll from the 7.0 quakes could be "well over 100,000." President Rene Preval told the network 50,000 could be dead.
As people clawed through fallen masonry to search for bloodied survivors, Preval painted a scene of utter devastation.
"Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed," he told the Miami Herald.
With thousands of people missing, dazed survivors in torn clothes wandered through the rubble as more than 30 aftershocks rocked the ramshackle capital, where more than two million people live, most in extreme poverty.