Tens of thousands feared dead in Haiti quake.Summary: Traumatized Haitians slept out in parks and streets on Thursday, fearing aftershocks to the catastrophic earthquake that flattened homes and government buildings and buried countless people.
Traumatized Haitians slept out in parks and streets on Thursday, fearing aftershocks to the catastrophic earthquake that flattened homes and government buildings and buried countless people.
Tens of thousands of people were feared dead and many were believed to be still trapped alive in the rubble of the major 7.0 magnitude quake Quake - A string-oriented language designed to support the construction of Modula-3 programs from modules, interfaces and libraries. Written by Stephen Harrison of DEC SRC, 1993. that hit Haiti's capital on Tuesday. There were no sign of organized operations to rescue those trapped in debris or remove bodies and doctors in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere Western Hemisphere
Part of Earth comprising North and South America and the surrounding waters. Longitudes 20° W and 160° E are often considered its boundaries. , were ill-equipped to treat the injured.
Survivors feared returning to their precarious homes and slept in open areas where groups of women sang traditional religious songs in the dark and prayed for the dead.
"They sing because they want God to do something. They want God to help them. We all do," said Hotel Villa Creole employee Dermene Duma, who lost four relatives.
Foreigners slept around the hotel's pool and scores of injured Haitians lay outside the damaged hotel.
Tens of thousands wandered dazed daze
tr.v. dazed, daz·ing, daz·es
1. To stun, as with a heavy blow or shock; stupefy.
2. To dazzle, as with strong light.
A stunned or bewildered condition. and sobbing in the chaotic, broken streets of Port-au-Prince the day after the earthquake, hoping desperately for assistance.
Bodies were visible all around the hilly hill·y
adj. hill·i·er, hill·i·est
1. Having many hills.
2. Similar to a hill; steep.
hill city: under rubble, lying beside roads, being loaded into trucks. Scattered bodies were laid out on sidewalks, wrapped neatly in sheets and blankets. Voices cried out from the rubble.
Asked by a CNN CNN
or Cable News Network
Subsidiary company of Turner Broadcasting Systems. It was created by Ted Turner in 1980 to present 24-hour live news broadcasts, using satellites to transmit reports from news bureaus around the world. reporter how many people had died, Haitian President Rene Preval replied, "I don't know ... up to now, I heard 50,000 ... 30,000." He did not say where the estimates came from.
But Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said the earthquake may have killed as many as 100,000 people.
The United Nations, whose five-story headquarters in Port-au-Prince was destroyed, said at least 16 members of its 9,000-strong peacekeeping mission Noun 1. peacekeeping mission - the activity of keeping the peace by military forces (especially when international military forces enforce a truce between hostile groups or nations)
peacekeeping, peacekeeping operation , including 11 Brazilian soldiers, had been killed. Preval said mission chief Hedi Annabi was dead but the world body could not confirm that.
Haiti's white presidential palace lay in ruins, its domes fallen on top of flattened walls. Preval and his wife were not inside when the quake hit.
Preval called the damage "unimaginable" and described stepping over dead bodies and hearing the cries of those trapped in the collapsed Parliament building, where the Senate president was among those pinned down by debris.
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.
2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark. recovery hopes
"It's not only unprecedented damage and destruction, but it has abruptly stopped what seemed to be a lot of momentum," said Bob Perito, an expert on post-conflict peace at the U.S. Institute for Peace.
Despite a history scarred by political violence and natural disasters, including hurricanes and severe flooding, Haiti's future had started to look more hopeful.
"There was so much hope about Haiti's future, hope that had not been present for years, and along comes mother nature and just flattens it," said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The top U.S. diplomat knows Haiti well, and her husband former president Bill Clinton serves as a special United Nations envoy to the Caribbean.
Perito said before the disaster "people could feel that things were getting better."
"The economy had begun to show some positive growth, 1.0 or 2.0 percent.
"There were some new investments coming in. A hotel chain had announced... that they would build a new hotel. New investments in the textile industry," he told AFP (1) (AppleTalk Filing Protocol) The file sharing protocol used in an AppleTalk network. In order for non-Apple networks to access data in an AppleShare server, their protocols must translate into the AFP language. See file sharing protocol. .
In September 2008, Haiti suffered through a string of four massive storms that killed 800 people and caused billion of dollars of damage.
"In response to that, the UN had led the international community to provide a lot of money and a rather enthusiastic response to rebuild Haiti," Perito said.
He warned that the psychological impact of the quake "is going to be very severe."
In the short-term, he added, the disaster would likely render it impossible to hold legislative elections planned for February, or presidential elections scheduled for 2011.
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