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 (warning sad story) Over 100,000 feared dead in Haiti quake

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PostSubject: (warning sad story) Over 100,000 feared dead in Haiti quake   January 14th 2010, 1:16 am

Haiti's prime minister on Wednesday warned the death toll may top 100,000 in a calamitous earthquake which left streets strewn with corpses and thousands missing in a scene of utter carnage.

PHOTOS: Scenes of destruction

Hospitals collapsed, destroyed schools were full of dead people and the cries of trapped victims escaped from crushed buildings in the centre of the capital Port-au-Prince, which an Agence France-Presse correspondent said was "mostly destroyed". (READ MORE: Australians unaccounted for in disaster zone)

Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive told CNN the final death toll from the 7.0 quake could be "well over 100,000", as an international aid effort geared up in a race against time to pull survivors from the ruins.

"I hope that is not true, because I hope the people had the time to get out. Because we have so much people on the streets right now, we don't know exactly where they were living," Bellerive said.

"But so many, so many buildings, so many neighbourhoods totally destroyed, and some neighbourhoods we don't even see people, so I don't know where those people are." (9RAW: Desperate search for survivors)

President Rene Preval painted a scene of complete destruction in his impoverished Caribbean nation after the quake struck on Tuesday.

"Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed," he told the Miami Herald.

"There are a lot of schools that have a lot of dead people in them," he said, as experts spoke of the worst quake to hit the disaster-prone nation in more than a century.

With hospitals also having crumbled in the fury of the quake, medical services were struggling to cope with the flow of wounded.

There are "tens of thousands of victims and considerable damage", Haiti's ambassador to the Organisation of American States Duly Brutus told AFP, without specifying the number of dead.

"The most urgent need is to help the thousands of people who are still alive and trapped in the ruins," he added, saying the last quake of such magnitude to strike Haiti was in 1842.

Preval's wife, First Lady Elisabeth Preval, told the US daily she had seen bodies in the streets of Port-au-Prince and had heard the cries of victims still trapped in the rubble of the parliament building.

"I'm stepping over dead bodies. A lot of people are buried under buildings. The general hospital has collapsed. We need support. We need help. We need engineers," she said.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the capital, with its population of two million people had borne the brunt of the quake which struck at 4.53pm on Tuesday local time, saying vast areas had been destroyed.

While much of the rest of the impoverished Caribbean nation appeared largely unaffected, Ban gave a grim assessment of the devastation in Port-au-Prince, saying the city's few basic services had collapsed.

"There is no doubt that we are facing a major humanitarian emergency and that a major relief effort will be required," he told a press conference in the United Nations, as he prepared to visit Haiti as soon as possible.

The temblor toppled the cupola on the gleaming white presidential palace, a major hotel where 200 tourists were missing and the headquarters of the UN mission in Haiti where up to 250 personnel were unaccounted for.

Five people were confirmed dead in the UN headquarters, and the head of the peacekeeping mission, Tunisian Hedi Annabi, was among the missing. (READ MORE: UN mission devastated by quake)

Jordan reported that three of its peacekeepers were killed and 21 injured. Brazil said 11 of its peacekeepers died, while eight Chinese soldiers were buried in rubble and 10 were missing, state media said.

An Argentine-staffed hospital was the only one left operating in the city and was struggling to cope with huge numbers of injured, its director told Argentine television.

"The situation is really critical because we cannot cope with this many dead and injured," Daniel Desimone told Todo Noticias.

A major international relief operation was underway with the United States, France, Britain and Canada all promising help.

US President Barack Obama vowed a swift and aggressive effort to save lives and said search and rescue teams would arrive within hours after a "heartwrenching" earthquake.

"This tragedy seems especially cruel and incomprehensible," he said.

The US military on Wednesday mobilised ships, aircraft and expert teams.

Planeloads of rescue teams and relief supplies were quickly dispatched from nations including Britain, Canada, Russia, Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Russia.

As well as virtually destroying Port-Au-Prince, the earthquake also caused widespread destruction in the resort town of Jacmel, south of the capital, a witness said on Wednesday, saying he saw an entire mountain almost collapsed.

Two hundred foreigners were missing at the Hotel Montana, French Secretary of State for Cooperation Alain Joyandet said.

Among the dead was the archbishop of Port-au-Prince Monsignor Serge Miot the Missionary International Service News Agency (MISNA) reported in Rome.

Pope Benedict XVI urged a generous response to the catastrophe.
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PostSubject: Re: (warning sad story) Over 100,000 feared dead in Haiti quake   January 14th 2010, 1:27 am

It's very sad Sad

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PostSubject: Re: (warning sad story) Over 100,000 feared dead in Haiti quake   January 14th 2010, 2:09 am

that sucks Sad its not fair these things have to happen Sad

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