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Page last updated at 11:16 GMT, Wednesday, 13 January 2010

As it happened: Haiti earthquake 13 Jan

Injured people in Port-au-Prince (13 January 2010)

Live coverage following the earthquake in Haiti. We will be bringing you news, insights from BBC correspondents, some of your e-mails and Twitter updates, and the best of the blogs. (All times GMT.)

0000 The BBC is discontinuing this live update page for the night. For the latest developments, please go to our main news page.

2358 UN Ban Ki-Moon has given an update on the number of UN casualties in Haiti. He says a total of 15 UN staff are now confirmed as dead - 11 Brazilian peacekeepers, as well as three Jordanians, one Argentine and one Chadian who were police officers. Addressing comments from Haitian President Rene Preval that the head of the UN mission, Hedi Annabi, was among the dead, Mr Ban says: "We have been trying to confirm this news through our mission in Haiti and through the permanent mission of Haiti here. But neither of these two institutions have been able to do so."

2349 The BBC's Laura Trevelyan in New York spoke to Haitians living in the Brooklyn district of Haiti Town: "Haitians here are in shock. Their community has suffered so much - political violence, hurricanes, and now this. Rico Dupuis of Radio Soleil says Haiti is more in need of help than ever before. 'Of all the calamities we've faced over the years, this is the mother of all of them. Port-au-Prince will never be the same again. I don't see how Haiti can recover from all of this,' he says. Vigils are being organised, money is being collected, food is being parcelled up, as Haitians here respond to this tragedy. What makes it all the harder to bear, is that for once people felt their country was entering a period of relative stability."

2332 Haiti's neighbours in the Caribbean reacted swiftly to news of the earthquake, with first response coming overnight from the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic which sent in medical supplies and search and a rescue response teams. The new chairman of Caricom, Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, called the quake gut-wrenching. Regional leaders pledged immediate assistance and a contingent from the Caribbean Disasters Emergency Management Agency was expected to arrive in Haiti on Wednesday evening. Grenada's Prime Minister, Tillman Thomas, told the BBC natural disasters like hurricanes meant the region was best placed to understand Haiti's immediate needs.

2313 US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has decided to cancel the remainder of her trip to the Pacific and return to Washington because of the earthquake in Haiti. She had been scheduled to visit Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia.

Andy Gallacher
2309 The BBC's Andy Gallacher says: "I've just arrived at Port-au-Prince airport and aid is now coming in, but very slowly indeed. There are just a few US Coast Guard and a couple of military planes here. But help is desperately needed. It is difficult to tell if the reports of tens of thousands of casualties are accurate at the moment. There is no power here, and very poor infrastructure."

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Jovenel Presume, Massachusetts, US, emails: Since the quake, I have lost all communication with my family. My mum is there. She was due to fly back today. I have a few friends, and family members who are willing to go out there in the rubble to search for people that are still alive.

2244 Canada's Governor General, Michaelle Jean, urges her former compatriots in Haiti to "stand firm". "Like me, Haitian communities across Canada are heartbroken and overwhelmed by the magnitude of this catastrophe," said Ms Jean, who was born in Port-au-Prince, but who fled Haiti with her family when she was 11. "The images and news reports are unbearable to watch. So much distress, suffering and loss. We are also, of course, imagining the worst, situations no image can capture that only increase our feeling of helplessness."

Matthew Price
2231 The BBC's Matthew Price at Port-au-Prince's airport says: "We have just touched down. Airport workers said the situation was very serious indeed. They did tell me that there had been no sign of government help, or of international help. As we landed, we did see large numbers of people huddled together in makeshift shelters."

2224 The US Coast Guard has posted videos taken from a helicopter during a flight over Port-au-Prince on Wednesday. They show the aftermath of the earthquake and thousands of people on the capital's streets, but no cars.


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Aerial footage of the destruction in Haiti


2207 The Wall Street Journal says the earthquake will devastate Haiti's $7bn economy, which was already struggling to emerge from several natural disasters and decades of political instability. The country, where 80% of the population lives below the poverty line, has yet to recover from four hurricanes in 2008 which wiped out roughly 15% of its GDP. "If the hurricanes were a blow, for this I would have to invent some other word," Ludovic Comeau, a native of Haiti and economics professor at DePaul University, tells the paper.

2200 The commander of the first US ship to reach Port-au-Prince has described a scene of extraordinary devastation, with collapsed buildings reaching from the coast into the hills above. Cmdr Diane Durham of the Coast Guard cutter, Forward, told the New York Times: "It is hard to look out in this harbour and see a building that has not been affected... Everybody in this city has been hit."

2155 The World Bank says it will provide an additional $100m in emergency funds to Haiti and is considering a special reconstruction trust fund so donors can co-ordinate aid. "This is a shocking event and it is crucial that the international community supports the Haitian people at this critical time," says the bank's president, Robert Zoellick. "The World Bank is mobilising significant financial assistance and sending a team to help assess damage and reconstruction needs."

2143 The FBI warns potential donors of earthquake relief funds to "apply a critical eye and do their due diligence before responding to those requests". "Past tragedies and natural disasters have prompted individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organisation and/or a good cause," it says.

2120 The BBC's Barbara Plett at the UN in New York says: "The UN is being extremely cautious about casualty figures because information is still sketchy. The head of mission remains unaccounted for and the Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, is sending the deputy chief of peacekeeping operations, Edmond Mulet, to oversee rescue and relief efforts. An emergency response team is also expected on the ground shortly and a flash appeal for funds will be launched in the next few days."

2112 Susana Malcorra, the head of the UN department of field support, confirms that at least 14 UN personnel have been killed - three Jordanian and 11 Brazilian peacekeepers, and one Haitian civilian. Fifty-six are injured, seven of whom have been evacuated. She tells reporters that there will likely be far more fatalities.

2057 In a moving report on its website, Haitian Radio Metropole describes the devastation: "The streets of Port-au-Prince are nothing more than a gaping wound, where corpses are tangled with the remains of houses, shops... Schools and hospitals crumble, people are buried under the tons of rubble, or are waiting for a charitable hand that will come to their aid, and while this is happening, the looters are at work in the shops. Some people have lost their children, others their parents. Haiti has new orphans. Today it is very difficult to maintain hope, but as the saying goes, hope makes us live, so let us all join hands and keep hope alive."

A digger tries to clear the remains of a collapsed building in Port-au-Prince
Haiti's Prime Minister says more than 100,000 people may have been killed

2050 Haiti's President, Rene Preval, tells CNN he has heard that between 30,000 and 50,000 people were killed by the earthquake. He did not say where the estimates had come from.

2044 A company in Miami working with the Haitian singer, Wyclef Jean, to collect donations in the US via text message says that the Yele Haiti foundation "has raised more than $250,000 in donations for the catastrophe in less than 12 hours of going live and aims to raise over $1 million a day", according to the New York Times.

2040 Officials at the US Department of Homeland Security says it has halted the deportation of Haitians living in the US illegally. Those who were due to be deported will remain in US detention centres.

2034 The US televangelist, Pat Robertson, claims the reason for Haiti's misfortunes is that the nation "swore a pact to the devil" two centuries ago. "They were under the heal of the French... And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you will get us free from the French... And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other," he tells the Christian Broadcast Network.

2021 President Rene Preval says the head of the UN mission in Haiti, Hedi Annabi, was killed in the earthquake when its headquarters in Port-au-Prince collapsed. The UN has yet to confirm the death.

2005 Paris Hilton, Ben Stiller, Chris Martin and Lindsay Lohan are among the celebrities and artists urging support for victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Coldplay singer Martin says that when he visited Haiti with the charity Oxfam a few years ago he found a country "of extreme poverty and brutal living conditions". The earthquake, he says, has probably turned Port-au-Prince "into an unimaginable hell".

1959 The earthquake has brought devastation to other parts of Haiti besides Port-au-Prince. Guido Cornale, a Unicef representative in the southern city of Jacmel, says a lot of buildings that have collapsed completely or partially. "We are still assessing the damage but we estimate that about 20% of Jacmel, if not more... has been destroyed" he says, adding that city has a population of 50,000.

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Wooldridge
The BBC's Mike Wooldridge says: There have been repeated tragedies of this kind in Haiti - the first state in the Caribbean to become independent back in the 19th Century but also one of the world's most impoverished nations. It has a history of dictatorship, violent power struggles during the last decade, a notoriously high level of criminality - all this has compounded the vulnerability of women and children particularly. That is why there is there is already a substantial humanitarian operation in Haiti - facing its greatest test.

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1920 Jean Marc Lafitte, Dominican Republic, emails:My family are all safe, but they are devastated. They said that all the buildings are down, a lot of people are hurt and everything's covered in dust - they say the country is ruined.


1910 The British Red Cross in Haiti has set up a Flickr picture gallery, showing pictures taken around Haiti.

1901 US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she will shorten her trip to Asia because of the earthquake. "It is biblical, the tragedy that continues to stalk Haiti and the Haitian people," she tells reporters in Hawaii, according to the AFP news agency.

1858 Edwidge Danticat, an award-winning Haitian-American author based in Miami, tells the Associated Press she is unable to contact her relatives. "You want to go there, but you just have to wait," she says. "Life is already so fragile in Haiti, and to have this on such a massive scale, it's unimaginable how the country will be able to recover from this."

1849 The Caribbean Community (Caricom) says its member states are "ready to assist our brothers and sisters" in Haiti. "While we are very encouraged by the many expressions of international support that are already pouring in to Haiti, Caricom as a region also intends to play its part," it says, according to the Caribbean Media Corporation.

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Troy Livesay, Port-au-Prince, blogs: Thousands of people are currently trapped. To guess at a number would be like guessing at raindrops in the ocean. Precious lives hang in the balance. When pulled from the rubble there is no place to take them for care. I cannot imagine what the next few weeks and months will be like. I am afraid for everyone.


1839 Canadian diplomats are racing to get help to a Canadian citizen trapped in the rubble in Haiti who managed to send out a text message to the foreign ministry's operations centre in Ottawa, Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon says. "We know exactly where that individual is," he adds. Mr Cannon says there have so far been no reports of any Canadian casualties.

1828 Between 115 and 200 UN expatriate personnel in Haiti are still missing, a spokeswoman for the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs tells the AFP news agency. "We are also very worried about our local staff," Elisabeth Byrs says.

UN headquarters in Port-au-Prince (13 January 2010)
The UN headquarters in Port-au-Prince was destroyed by the earthquake

1817 Meinie Nicolai, director of operations at Medecins Sans Frontieres in Brussels, tells the BBC World Service that three of its health centres in Haiti have been partially destroyed. "Up till now we have received just fewer than 1,000 people. Some even came to our office building to be cared for. We are seeing patients with fractures and trauma. The situation is dramatic and chaotic. We don't know how many are wounded and dead but the situation is serious… We are flying in 80 tonnes of extra material with an inflatable hospital... There are plenty of problems," she says.

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Thomas Chadwick, Florida, US, emails: I have an orphanage in Jacmel with 13 children. My wife is out there, but I haven't been able to speak to any of them since an hour before the earthquake. I feel so useless.

1808 The UN's Emergency Relief Co-ordinator, John Holmes, says a Chinese search and rescue team has arrived in Port-au-Prince. Teams are also on their way from the US, France, Iceland and the Dominican Republic. "Help is beginning to arrive, but of course it is desperately needed and as you are all aware every hour counts in this kind of situation where people are trapped under the rubble and desperately in need of being rescued," he says.

1756 UK Foreign Office Minister, Baroness Kinnock, says officials working hard to locate and contact British nationals in Haiti and that the UK is ready to work with the Haitian government and international partners to respond to the crisis. "We are in close contact with our honorary consul in Port-au-Prince. Despite major communications challenges, she is working hard to help locate British nationals and provide further information on the situation on the ground. At present, we have no reports of any British casualties," she says.


Shanty town in Haiti after the earthquake (Photo: Red Cross)
Many people live in poorly constructed housing on steep slopes in Haiti

1750 Mister Berube, a Canadian living in Haiti, tells the BBC World Service what happened to his hotel: "I was in my office checking out some paperwork and the whole building felt like a boat in a storm. We ran out of the doors and saw clouds of dust all over the place. Everyone managed to get out. We were so nervous we stayed outside all night without gas and electricity. I have some neighbours who have lost everything. We are not used to waiting for emergency help - in Haiti we usually try to sort out emergencies ourselves."

1740 The BBC's Nick Caistor says: Haiti appears to have had more than its fair share of chaos, poverty and natural disasters. And, as has happened so often in the nation's past, just when the situation was getting better, a fresh catastrophe struck.

1733 US Agency for International Development (USAID) administrator Rajiv Shah says Washington is "committed to a significant effort". "We will be pushing forward with an aggressive and co-ordinated effort focused very much on saving lives through aggressive search and rescue in the urban environment for the next 72 hours, which will be our primary focus of our engagement," he tells reporters.

Search-and-rescue teams board a plane in the US
The US said the priority for the first 72 hours was saving lives

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melindayiti tweets: talking to Joe in Jacmel...says the city is destroyed, the Alcibiade is missing a part, the Hotel Lamandou... many places damaged... the hospital also seriously damaged and turning people away...the ocean receded a half mile from the coast

1723 Haiti's Prime Minister, Jean Max Bellerive, tells CNN that the death toll could be "well over 100,000". "I hope that is not true, because I hope the people had the time to get out. Because we have so many people on the streets right now, we don't know exactly where they were living. 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," he says.

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Missionmanna, an aid group working in Haiti, have posted pictures on Tweet Photo showing the devastation.


1707 The US state department says it has ordered about 80 non-essential embassy personnel, as well as dependents to leave Haiti, so the mission can focus on helping victims of the earthquake.

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Eve Hayes de Kalaf, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, emails:The earthquake was felt here by a large number of the population, especially in the south of the country. This sent many people into a state of panic [and they] ran from their homes and stayed outside, although damage to buildings was minimal. It is only this morning that many of us have woken up to the reality of the situation. Many of my friends and colleagues work in Haiti. At present we have had very little contact with them as most lines of communication are down. I fear that many people who work for international aid agencies have been killed.

1656 Pope Benedict XVI appeals for support for those affected by the earthquake and says the Catholic Church will "immediately activate" it charitable institutions to reach those in need. "I appeal to everyone's generosity, so that these brothers and sisters of ours who are living through a time of need and pain receive our concrete solidarity and the effective help of the international community," he says.

1651 The UN says the main prison in Port-au-Prince has collapsed, according to the Associated Press. Inmates have reportedly escaped.

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Emmet Murphy, Jacmel, Haiti, emails:I was driving through the mountains when the car started to shake. It was like a very strong wind was blowing and I nearly lost control of the car. Rocks started falling on the road. I continued driving slowly and I saw people in the road screaming. The mountain was collapsing and a building to one side had already fallen down. A huge dust plume raised from the valley floor. I drove further and found the road totally blocked by a massive landslide on the road. I just knew that if I had reached that spot five minutes earlier, I would have been killed. I had to abandon the car and continue on foot.

1646 According to the New Scientist magazine, a group of scientists from the US and Jamaica predicted in 2008 that a magnitude-7.2 earthquake would result if all of the strain along the Enriquillo-Plaintain Garden fault zone in southern Haiti was "released in a single event" . Tuesday's earthquake was 7.0. Paul Mann, who was one of the scientists who gave the warning, said Haiti was particularly vulnerable to earthquake damage because many people lived in poorly constructed housing on steep slopes.

1630 Navy ships on the US East Coast are preparing to leave for Haiti, officials tell the Reuters news agency.

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jwilson3 tweets: we survived the earthquake here in Jacmel, Haiti... houses falling all around me. the town is completely destroyed.

1626 Bob Poff, disaster co-ordinator for the Salvation Army in Haiti tells the New York Times that after the earthquake "thousands of people poured out into the streets, crying, carrying bloody bodies, looking for anyone who could help them". "We piled as many bodies into the back of our truck, and took them down the hill with us, hoping to find medical attention. All of them were older, scared, bleeding, and terrified. All of the children, and hundreds of neighbours, are sleeping in our playground area tonight. Occasionally, there is another tremor - another reminder that we are not yet finished with this calamity. And when it comes, all of the people cry out and the children are terrified," he says.

Before and after pictures of the presidential palace

1623 Haiti's First Lady, Elisabeth Preval, tells the Miami Herald: "This is a catastrophe. 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."

1618 The European Commission has approved 3m euros ($4.37m) of emergency funding for the international aid effort in Haiti and could pledge more in coming days, a spokeswoman says.

1615 Fabienne de Leval of Medecins Sans Frontieres tells the BBC that its personnel in Haiti are trying to work out what needs to be done. "They've been assessing the situation, they've been going around the medical structures in town to see if they're functional. There's a lot of damaged buildings, the people in the streets are afraid to go back into their houses because of the aftershocks. There are many dead bodies around. It's still very difficult to assess the extent of the damage and how many victims there will be," he says.

1609 The US military is sending a ground assessment team to Haiti and one of its P-3 Orion patrol aircraft has been doing aerial reconnaissance, a Pentagon spokesman has said, according to the Reuters news agency.

1558 Mr Nesirky says the 3,000 UN peacekeepers based in and around Port-au-Prince are "securing the airport, securing the port, and securing the main arteries so that aid can get through as well as search-and-rescue workers". "Additionally, they will be patrolling to ensure that security is maintained," he says.

1555 Martin Nesirky, spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, tells the BBC World Service that many UN personnel are still missing. "The Christopher Hotel, which was the headquarters for our peacekeeping operation, collapsed in the quake and there are many people still trapped inside. The special representative for the secretary general, Hedi Annabi, and his deputy, Luiz Carlos da Costa, are unaccounted for, as are many other staff," he says.

1550 The Haitian ambassador to the Organisation of American States (OAS) tells the AFP news agency that there are "tens of thousands of victims and considerable damage".

Injured people gathered at the office of Medecins Sans Frontieres in Port-au-Prince (13 January 2010)
Hundreds of injured went to the office of Medecins Sans Frontieres for treatment

1541 President Barack Obama says US search-and-rescue teams from Florida, Virginia and California will arrive in Haiti throughout Wednesday and Thursday. "The people of Haiti will have the full support of the United States in the urgent effort to rescue those trapped beneath the rubble and to deliver the humanitarian relief, food, water and medicine that Haitians will need," he adds.

1536 Susan Westwood, a paediatric nurse from Scotland working at an orphanage outside Port-au-Prince, tells the BBC that they only have enough supplies to last five days. "It is what happens to us after that, that is concerning us," she says. "We are having to very careful with food and water."

1535 At least 11 Brazilian peacekeepers were killed, Brazil's military has said, according to the AFP news agency.

1532 Among those trapped inside the parliament building but still alive is the president of the Haitian Senate, Kely Bastien, Mr Preval tells the Miami Herald.

1531 In his first interview since the earthquake, Haitian President Rene Preval tells the Miami Herald a full evaluation is necessary before a realistic estimate of casualties can be made. But he says: "All of the hospitals are packed with people. It is a catastrophe... There are a lot of schools that have a lot of dead people in them."

1526 Mr Obama says the reports and images he has seen from Haiti are "truly heart-wrenching" and that the world must prepared for difficult days ahead as it learns of the scale of the disaster.

1522 US President Barack Obama says he has directed his administration to respond with a "swift, co-ordinated and aggressive" aid effort to save lives in Haiti.

1514 Haiti's President, Rene Preval, tells the Miami Herald that he believes thousands of people have been killed, and that the scene in Port-au-Prince is "unimaginable", with parliament, schools and hospitals destroyed.

1508 The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Port-au-Prince, Monsignor Joseph Serge Miot, was among those killed in the earthquake, missionaries and priests have said. The Missionary International Service News Agency (MISNA) reported that his body had been pulled from the rubble of his offices in the capital.

1504 International aid agency Cafod pledges £100,000 to assist with the relief effort.

1451 Maggie Boyer, of the relief agency World Vision, tells the BBC she witnessed the devastation in Port-au-Prince minutes after the quake. "Many buildings in the city have high walls, for security reasons, and many of those walls had crumbled into the streets," she said. "We saw apartment buildings and a major supermarket that had given way. Many people here are just shocked."

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"All of a sudden everything was falling apart... there was no place to hide"

1446 Carelp has posted some pictures on CNN showing the aftermath of the quake in Petion-Ville, Haiti. UN peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy says Port-au-Prince airport is "operational" and aid will start flowing soon, AFP news agency reports.

1439 A seismologist from the British Geological Survey, Dr Roger Musson, tells the BBC World Service the fault line Haiti sits on had been "gradually accumulating energy over the last 250 years and finally released it all in one big earthquake". He said the energy "had to be released at some point" but it could have happened in a series of smaller tremors. "It was a big one and I'm afraid this is a real disaster."

1433 Canada is sending a plane with medical equipment and a substantial relief and rescue force - AFP news agency

1432 The International Monetary Fund is mustering an all-out aid effort to help Haiti as soon as possible, IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn says, according to AFP.

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1429 Christine Blanchard, New Jersey, US, e-mails: My family is still missing. The phone lines are down and I haven't been able to get in touch with them. I feel sick with worry. I am devastated. I know every building that has collapsed. I know how long those buildings took to build and now they are just rubble. I've heard that a lot of people are at the Hotel Oloffson because it's one of the few hotels still standing. I have been up all night trying to get in touch with people. I am using social network sites to try to track them down. Haiti is very small so everybody knows everybody else, I hope this will help.

Read more eyewitness accounts

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1428 Troy Livesay tweets: "Aftershocks continued all night long. The sun went down shortly after the big quake. It is up now. It is eerily quiet."

1423 Frank Thorp, a US citizen in Haiti, told The Early Show on CBS he drove 161km (100 miles) to Port-au-Prince after the earthquake to rescue his wife Jillian, an aid worker, from the rubble of their home. He said he dug for more than an hour to free her and a co-worker from beneath 1ft (0.3 metres) of concrete.

1418 The BBC has created a Twitter link, where you can follow tweets from Haiti.

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1412 Emerson Tan, at London's Gatwick airport, e-mails:I'm part of a team of volunteer aid workers trying to get to Haiti. There are four of us from my group, Mapaction, and over 70 rescue specialists. The sniffer dogs are here as well. My group provides mapping and information for all the aid agencies. Haiti is extremely poor and a lot of its buildings are badly constructed. Strangely though, the shacks are where more people are likely to survive. The building materials are lightweight and survivors can get out more easily.

Read more eyewitness accounts


1410 Reports from another city in Haiti, Jacmel, say the earthquake has also caused great destruction there. A representative of Unicef in the city, Guido Cornale, told the BBC World Service that at least 20% of buildings had been destroyed in the city of 50,000 inhabitants. He said up to 5,000 people had gone to Jacmel airport looking for shelter.

1403 The UN peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy says "less than five" UN staff had been found dead at the organisation's headquarters in Port-au-Prince but many are still believed to be in the rubble. The UN has not confirmed reports that their head of operations in Haiti, Hedi Annabi, was killed.

1358 US President Barack Obama will make a statement on the Haiti disaster at 1500 GMT (1000 EST), says the White House.

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1355 Susan Westwood, a paediatric nurse from Scotland working at an orphanage outside Port-au-Prince, e-mails: "I was in the intensive care room looking after a nine-month-old baby girl when the earthquake hit. The floor started shaking violently and the whole building shook from side to side. It lasted about 45 seconds. After that, there was a constant shuddering. The babies were really frightened and started to cry. Other staff and carers were screaming, they were so terrified. It was very upsetting."

Read more eyewitness accounts


1351 Renzo Fricke, emergency co-ordinator for Medecins Sans Frontieres, tells the BBC World Service: "We have treated hundreds of patients that were wounded…these patients that have arrived have mostly trauma, fractures and burns. None of them [the hospitals] are functional. They are either collapsed, or without staff or without medicine."

Imogen Foulkes
1345 The BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva says: The first 48 hours following an earthquake are crucial to saving lives but with roads blocked and nearly all communication lines down it is extremely difficult to assess the situation. Some aid agencies don't yet know if their own staff and buildings are safe.

1340 UN chief Ban Ki-moon says the UN is mobilising an emergency response team and releasing $10m (£6m) from its emergency relief fund for victims of the Haiti quake.

People in rubble in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (13 Jan 2009)

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1336 Annalie Maning, Philippines, e-mails:My husband, relatives and friends, many Filipinos are in Haiti. I don't have any communication with them. I don't know if they have food water, if they are ok.

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1334 Ezili Danto , a Haitian human rights lawyer in the US, blogs:All the poor living on the mountains, in houses built on the mountains, are feared to have suffered heavy, heavy casualty. Our report is that these houses on the mountains tumbled down, one on top another.


1328 UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says the earthquake has had a "devastating impact" on Port-au-Prince but that other areas of Haiti are largely unaffected. "We are yet to establish the number of dead or injured, which we fear may well be in the hundreds. There is no doubt that we are facing a major humanitarian emergency and a major relief effort will be required," he tells a news conference in New York.

1320 British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says the UK will give Haiti "whatever humanitarian assistance is required" and Spain, which currently hold the EU presidency, says the union is "taking all necessary measures to mitigate the damage". Germany has offered 1m euro ($1.5m: £894,000) in aid.

Steve Kingstone
1309 The BBC's Steve Kingstone in Washington says: The first daylight pictures from Haiti have revealed scenes of utter devastation - bodies and ruined buildings litter the capital Port-au-Prince. Witnesses report people crying out from beneath the rubble and say rescue efforts are as yet almost non-existent. US President Barack Obama ordered aggressive and co-ordinated help and said his thoughts and prayers were with the Haitian people.

1257 All telephone lines were reported to be down for hours following the quake, but Haitian radio reporter Carel Pedre tells CNN one of the main networks, Digicel, is back up and running.

1253 Unicef tells the BBC that half of Haiti's population are children under the age of 18.

1249 International aid charities are appealing for help for the victims. Here are some of the ways you can help.

In the UK:

British Red Cross, Christian Aid, Oxfam

In the US:

Mercy Corps, American Red Cross, Unicef USA

These organisations also have ways to donate:
International Red Cross, Interrnational Medical Corps, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Save The Children

We will keep you updated with relief efforts as the information comes in.

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1245 Wyclef tweets: "I am on my way to the DR [Dominican Republic] to get to Haiti. Please urge your councilmen, governors etc we need a state of emergency for Haiti."

1228 Eyewitness Dixie Bickel tells the BBC World Service there are people buried under their houses who cannot escape.

1212 French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner says the head of the UN mission in Haiti is feared to have died when the UN building collapsed. "We know nothing about what's happened to the people who lived there," the AFP news agency quotes Mr Kouchner as saying.

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1204 Frederic Dupoux tweets: "Everybody is camping in the streets of Port-au-Prince, sleeping under the stars to wake up from an awful nightmare."

1200 Several UN international peacekeepers are reported to be among the dead, including people from Brazil and Jordan.

1153 Red Cross spokesman Paul Conneally tells the BBC that relief efforts are being hampered by "massive damage" to the infrastructure in Haiti. "We're looking at supporting search and rescue operations and supplementing emergency health services," he says.

1145 BBC correspondents in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica say tremors were felt in both countries. The Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Hubert Ingraham, says some islands have been hit by high tides. His country's emergency services are ready to help Haiti, the Caribbean Media Corporation quotes him as saying.

1136 Rapper Wyclef Jean, who was born in Haiti, tells CNN he was on the phone to a friend in the country when the quake struck. "She said she was outside with her kids and that the buildings have started collapsing," he says.

1132 Caroline Hurford of the World Food Programme (WFP) said the agency's building in Port-Au-Prince was still standing and all staff are accounted for. WFP is airlifting 90 metric tonnes of high energy biscuits to neighbouring Dominican Republic - enough to feed 30,000 people for a week.

1124 Reports say the capital, Port-au-Prince, was covered in a blanket of dust for about 20 minutes after the quake.

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Mobile phone footage of quake's immediate aftermath

1122 Louis Belanger, a spokesman for UK-based aid agency Oxfam, tells the BBC aid agencies will probably use the Dominican Republic's capital Santo Domingo as their hub to bring in aid as Haiti's main airport is out of action.

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1117 Troy Livesay tweets:"Church groups are singing throughout the city all through the night in prayer. It is a beautiful sound in the middle of a horrible tragedy."

1113 Pope Benedict XVI calls on people to "unite in prayer" for the victims of the quake.

1108 "This is a huge humanitarian operation, no question about that," Patrick McCormick of the UN's children's agency Unicef tells the BBC.

1101 Former Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide is quoted by the AFP news agency as saying the earthquake is "a tragedy that defies expression".

1053 The International Federation of the Red Cross says up to three million people have been affected by the quake.

1040 Hundreds of people are feared to have died after a powerful earthquake hit south of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. Infrastructure in the country has been severely damaged and many buildings have been destroyed. Reports are emerging of chaos and panic as aftershocks continue. We will be updating this page throughout the day, bringing you reports from those affected, some of your emails, Twitter updates, blogs and insights from BBC correspondents.


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HAITI: SITUATION IN BRIEF
Haiti's Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive says he believes more than 100,000 people may have been killed by Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude earthquake. Bodies have been piled up along the rubble-strewn streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince. Among the buildings destroyed was the headquarters of the UN mission in the city. The Red Cross estimates that tens of thousands are in need of urgent assistance.


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