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Page last updated at 09:01 GMT, Thursday, 14 January 2010

As it happened: Haiti earthquake 14 Jan

Injured child in Port au Prince

Live coverage following Tuesday's earthquake in Haiti, in which tens of thousands are feared to have died and three million displaced. Bodies are piled up on the rubble-strewn streets of the capital. Rescue workers are in a race against time to find survivors.


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

2346 Survivor Jackson tells the BBC he has just found his wife under the rubble: "We just got married. I just married my wife, and now I don't know what to do. She spent three days under the rubble of the building, and today I found her."

2342 Time magazine reporter Saul Schwarz says he has seen at least two downtown roadblocks made out of bodies of earthquake victims and rocks - Reuters. "It's getting ugly out there, people are fed up with getting no help," he tells the news agency.

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2332 Yael Talleyrand in Jacmel tweets: "Just got back from downtown - shocked to the highest possible level."

2325 Louis Ballinger of Oxfam tells the BBC: "People are pretty calm, I have to say. There were no scenes of chaos or aggressivity or anything else. People are pretty shocked still. A lot of families and friends and neighbours have gathered together in parks in Port-au-Prince, so you can see the ones that are homeless now are sticking together and trying to help each other out, waiting for aid to come along."

2319 US mobile phone users send more than $5m to the Red Cross for disaster relief, by texting "Haiti" to the number 90999.

Matthew Price
2308 The BBC's Matthew Price in Port-au-Prince says: "There are more aid flights getting in, large numbers of international personnel are here - they are getting ready before setting out... But it feels as if it could take a very long time for anything to happen."

2246 Presidents Obama and Sarkozy agree to work together to prepare a conference on reconstruction and development in Haiti, "with Brazil, Canada and other countries directly concerned" - AFP.

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2240 Bhatiap tweets: "From walking around most of the day I estimate that one-third to half of the houses are or will be demolished."

2235 US National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer tells the BBC: "It's all hands on deck here on this effort to try to make sure not only that the United States is doing all it can but the president himself is working the phones, talking to world leaders, trying to again coordinate international assistance. This is not only a US effort - we have to work with the United Nations, NGOs and the world community to help Haiti in this desperate time of need."

Barbara Plett
2211 The BBC's Barbara Plett at the United Nations says: "The UN says 36 of its personnel were killed in the Haiti earthquake, and 188 staff members are still unaccounted for. UN officials acknowledged that in coming days careful rescue efforts will switch to recovering bodies, and dozens more UN staff could be confirmed dead. It's a huge blow for the organisation, which is scrambling to coordinate a massive relief effort for Haiti."

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2205 Aid organisation CARE tweets: "The Santo Domingo [Dominican Republic] airport is full of aid workers, rescue teams. It is turning into the humanitarian hub."

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2144 Veteran NBC news anchor Brian Williams tells the Huffington Post the situation is comparable to the 2004 Asian tsunami: "It's very reminiscent of what we saw in Banda Aceh. There were 35,000 dead in our time there. There's no way to express it, no way to explain it, it just becomes other-worldly."

2125 Haitian President Rene Preval says 7,000 victims have already been buried in a common grave - Reuters.

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2055 Harry Brown in Macau e-mails: "Just getting word - via my sister in Montreal - that 11 family members in Carrefour aged between 18 months and 60 years have survived. To what extent, we don't know yet. The relief is mixed with guilt. I am relieved to have received positive news yet there are thousands upon thousands of families hit by this tragedy."

2033 The BBC's Laura Trevelyan in New York says: "So many tears are being shed in Brooklyn's Haitian community - information is scarce, communications with Haiti are virtually non existent, and the longer that goes by without contact from loved ones, the harder it is. At the Savoir Faire music shop, a focal point for Haitians in Brooklyn, people are gathering, donating money and supplies for Haiti."

Andy Gallacher
2024 The BBC's Andy Gallacher in Port-au-Prince says: "People are starting to get frustrated, and there is a sense that the mood could change. Bodies are starting to pile up ... and there is a stench filling the air... The help really isn't here yet."


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2001 Fredodupoux, in Port-au-Prince, tweets: "HELP IS NEEDED! People still alive under College Canapé Vert are screaming for help to get them out of the rubble."

1943 US military officials say aid flights to Haiti have resumed after being suspended because of overcrowding at Port-au-Prince airport - Associated Press.

Matthew Price
1927 The BBC's Matthew Price in Port-au-Prince says: "The injured lie among those who have already died, in the ditches running along the roadside you may pass a body or indeed several bodies. In the heat, the smell in places is becoming too strong to stomach. Haiti's needs are massive, as ever in an earthquake - food, water and medicine. It also needs bulldozers and heavy lifting equipment, but perhaps more than anything it needs someone to take charge here."

1859 A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office says: "We are beginning to repatriate the first British Nationals. They have also located and checked on over 30 other Brits, who have confirmed they are safe and well, and are coordinating with US, Canadian and EU partners to facilitate the evacuation of any British Nationals who wish to leave Haiti. We have no reports at present of British casualties."

1850 The Red Cross says it believes 45-50,000 people died in the earthquake and another three million have been injured or left homeless.

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1826 UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband writes in his blog : "We have all seen the horrific pictures from Haiti. I will speak to Ban Ki-Moon later about the terrible loss for the UN... The whole international community wants to do everything it can. The situation is just awful."

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1800 "Sometimes, though, you have to wonder if the planet itself is not conspiring against this humble little nation," writes Leonard Pitts Jr in the Miami Herald.

1751 Medecins Sans Frontieres says it has not been able to get in touch with all its Haitian staff or with patients who were in MSF buildings when the quake hit.

1745 Kathy Johnson in the UK, who has relatives in Haiti, told the BBC: "We are desperately worried because my uncle and six of his children are missing in Port-au-Prince. The area is devastated, the church and graveyard near his house destroyed. And I am stuck here thousands of miles away. I feel so frustrated, all I want to do is to jump on a plane and go and help."

Andy Gallacher
1721 The BBC's Andy Gallacher at a cemetery in Port-au-Prince says: "It's a mass grave, there are maybe ... 20-30 or more bodies which are just lying there, I'm not sure exactly how these bodies are going to be disposed of but at the moment they are just in a pile, at the edge of this cemetery."

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1710 Joel Achenbach in the Washington Post says rebuilding with reinforced concrete would literally create a more stable country. "Obviously the US will send aid and relief workers, but we should do more than that: for a small fraction of what the United States is spending to bail out banks and auto firms we could help Haiti rebuild with reinforced concrete.... This is the 21st century - and yet people around the world are living and working in buildings that are certain to crumble when the earth moves."

1704 A US rescue team spent five hours freeing one man from rubble in Port-au-Prince. One of the rescuers, Sam Gray said there was "an incredible amount of devastation and an incredible amount of people who will probably lose their lives" in the country. "Honestly the hardest part is knowing how many people aren't going to be saved," he said.

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1658 Firesideint, in Port-au-Prince, tweets: "Things are usually not as bad as the news says. Sincerely, this is worse… Dead bodies everywhere. City starting to smell like rotting flesh. Men are starting to collect bodies off of the streets. Saw a truck piled high. Recovery efforts are underway but SMALL. A person here or there. No heroics. Just desperation. Many people praying as they walk."

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RAMhaiti in Port-au-Prince tweets: "I'm hearing planes and/or helicopters. Yesterday there were none to speak of. It changes the atmosphere. I hope there is help on the ground."

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1654 Cameron Sinclair of Architecture of Humanity, writing in a blog on the Huffington Post, urged those involved in the relief effort to plan very carefully. "In a developing country like Haiti the biggest danger is the effects of bad post-disaster planning and construction. Waterborne diseases spread like wildfire in temporary camps and dumping sub-standard materials not only is dangerous but undermines an existing yet fragile construction industry."

Paul Adams
1651 The BBC's Paul Adams in Washington says: "For the second time in two days, President Obama went before the cameras to outline what his administration is doing. He was flanked by half a dozen senior members of his administration and it's been reported that former presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush have agreed to lend their support - a clear sign the president wants this to be a national effort which transcends all partisan politics."

1640 Jean Claude Fignole of Action Aid in Haiti tells the BBC: "Conditions are catastrophic - absolutely catastrophic. I have seen some of the most horrible things I have seen in my life. I am putting out a plea to the government, to any of the authorities co-operating with Haiti, to help clean up the bodies on the streets because the health and the sanitation of this situation for the city are potentially of epic proportions."

1633 UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon says "overall security and public order is being maintained" in Haiti. The 3,000 UN peacekeepers in the country are assisting with aid distribution.

1625 US broadcaster CBS News has footage of the second the quake struck, showing buildings collapsing as people run for cover.

e-mail sent in by reader
1625 Barbara Jones, a Haitian living in the UK, e-mails: "I have not heard from my mother or my cousins. My aunt is also missing. She gave me my education and I owe her so much, she was a huge part of my childhood. My family live in Port-au-Prince. I haven't heard from any of them."

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1614 A-cui from Beijing e-mails: "Sichuan people suffered the pain of earthquake on 12 May 2008, when some hundreds of thousands of lives were taken away. Now people in Haiti suffer the same, I wish them go strongly, and also we others around the world should support them as soon as possible. Pray for people dead in earthquake, wish live people safe, and hope the Haitians overcome this quickly."

1610 United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon says one UN staff member was rescued from under 4m of rubble and sent to Argentina for medical treatment. "It was a small, small miracle during the night which brought few other miracles," he said.

1608 Jesse Hagopian, a US doctor, was on holiday in Port-au-Prince when the quake hit and is now helping with the aid effort. He told Democracy Now: "The injuries just kept coming all day long - head injuries, people with multiple broken legs, people catatonic who couldn't speak. Everybody is asking for medicine. You know, we don't have [the] basics."

1600 United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon confirms that 150 UN personnel are missing - about 100 were inside the UN headquarters, based in a hotel, when it collapsed.

1555 Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), says $100m (£61m) will be made available to Haiti "very quickly", in the form of extended loans.

1546 Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero calls on the world to react with "strength and energy" to the humanitarian crisis in Haiti. He says Spain, which holds the EU presidency, has mobilised "all the resources and all the capabilities" of the union.

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1540 Volunteer Emerson Tan, heading from the UK with non-governmental organisation Mapaction to provide emergency mapping for aid agencies, e-mails: "Had to unload and check all the kit, then a long sleepless wait for the aircraft to show up. Now it's all go. Dog teams and lightsearch first with heavy rescue to follow this afternoon. Reports from the ground sound bad. Think it will be a long day."

David Loyn
1540 The BBC's David Loyn in Dominican Republic says: "The UK is one of the few countries whose search teams are classified at the highest level by the UN to do so called heavy rescues - the ability to burrow deep into collapsed buildings and bring out survivors. The most valued members of the party are two Labradors who will go in first. Holly and Echo are trained to sniff out the faintest traces of life amid the chaos and smell of death which will confront them in the devastation of Haiti."

1535 UK-based aid agency Save the Children says many children in Haiti will be "petrified and in danger". Spokesman Gareth Owen tells Reuters: "Many will have been orphaned or be badly injured themselves and in urgent need of medical help. Thousands more will have lost all contact with their families and friends and are now struggling to survive alone in the rubble."

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1525 Landon Yarrington email from Port-au-Prince:Our passports, computers, clothes, and medicine are all buried in the house we were staying. All that we have with us now are the clothes on our backs.

1515 US President Barack Obama outlines a massive aid effort from the US and announces $100m (£61m) in relief funds. He says it will take time for everything to arrive in the quake zone, but emphasises that "help is on the way".

1510 Bill Clinton, UN special envoy to Haiti, has written optimistically in Time magazine about Haiti's future: "Before this disaster, Haiti had the best chance in my lifetime to fulfil its potential as a country, to basically escape the chains of the past 200 years. I still believe that if we rally around them now and support them in the right way, the Haitian people can reclaim their destiny."

1455 Former US presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush will help with the disaster relief effort, White House officials tell news agencies. President Barack Obama is expected to make a statement shortly.

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1440 Ruth Norbury, in Bristol, UK, writes in an email: "My husband is from Haiti and has a large family that live in Carrefour, which is on the edge of the city. It must be a miracle because although the houses around them are broken, all 11 members of the family are still alive and uninjured and the house is ok too. All I can say to people is don't give up hope just yet because among the darkness sometimes there is a small glimmer of light."

1438 International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and European Commission Humanitarian Aid (Echo) have taken photos during an aerial assessment of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

1420 British Prime Minister Gordon Brown describes the earthquake as a "tragedy beyond imagination".

1413 The US 82nd Airborne Division will have 100 members in Haiti on Thursday, a spokesman tells the BBC. Another 800 will be there by Friday and the rest of the 3,500-member division is on standby in case they are needed.

1411 Elizabeth Byrs, a spokeswoman for the UN, tells the BBC World Service: "Firemen have also been trapped in the earthquake so their logistical means are very poor and they cannot cope with the situation. That's why it's very urgent to bring heavy machinery to remove the debris, also civil and military assets like helicopters are needed, given the bad conditions of the roads."

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1400 Brooke Durbin, a teacher in Port-de-Paix in northern Haiti, e-mails: "The worst part about the whole thing is not being able to know what is happening just 200 miles away. What we hear is all "hear-say." We have limited internet, so we can't even check many news sites. I teach 4th grade, and many (if not most) of my students have some family that they can't get hold of."

1353 A senior White House advisor said she was left "speechless" by comments from US TV evangelist Pat Robertson that Haitians had made "a pact to the Devil". Valerie Jarrett told ABC's Good Morning America: "That's not the attitude that expresses the spirit of the president or the American people, so I thought it was a pretty stunning comment to make."

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1346 The American Red Cross tweets: "You have donated nearly $3million to Red Cross earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. Thank you. Keep it up."

1338 Yael Talleyrand, in Jacmel, Haiti, has sent this picture to the BBC, showing people gathered at a temporary camp at an airport in Haiti. "There are thousands of people there that need more tents, sheets, and so on, because they have only 3 tents that can only protect 50 people each," she said.

People in a camp at an airport in Haiti

1334 The US army is sending up to 3,500 soldiers to Haiti, officials quoted by Reuters say. The first 100 are scheduled to arrive soon.

1325 Haitian actor Jimmy Jean-Louis, who starred in the Heroes TV series, tells CNN he has not been able to contact his parents in Petionville since the quake. "I don't think people have any idea how terrible this is," he says.

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1321 Sebastien Barrau, a Haitian living in Miami, has started up a website for missing persons. He says: "I'm really disappointed - there are so few survivors. I spoke to a friend who helped get five people out of a collapsed supermarket, just five people. I've heard about people being alive one day and stuck under the rubble, but who don't make it."

1319 Troylivesay tweets: "Yesterday there was only one gas station operating in town that I saw and it was a mob scene. No violence but it was very intense."

1315 Churches, barber shops and small shops in Haitian areas of Miami have been collecting donations to send to friends and relatives. "My body is in Miami but my mind is in Haiti," Fletcher Toussaint, a young immigrant, tells the BBC.

1310 Two days after the disaster struck, people speak of still hearing voices crying from the rubble.

1309 Google and Geoeye have put together some new satellite images of Haiti, taken after the quake and showing the extent of the destruction.

1303 The foreign minister of Indonesia - a country which has suffered natural disasters in the past - expressed condolences to Haiti. "As a country that has been itself devastated by a similar situation, we are absolutely saddened by what's happening in Haiti," said Marty Natalegawa.

1257 Haitian DJ Carel Pedre tells BBC's Newshour he has seen a lot of dead bodies and collapsed buildings. "I've seen thousands of people crying for help, I've seen thousands of people homeless, helpless. I see a country devastated, I see - wow - I have witnessed a disaster and I think that's the biggest disaster I've ever seen in my life."

1254 The UN says up to 200 of its staff, including peacekeepers, are unaccounted for. Between 50 and 100 could be trapped in the UN building in Port-au-Prince.

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1253 Troylivesay tweets: "Currently experiencing another aftershock - they are still coming - had a couple strong ones yesterday and last night."

1250 Paul Conneally, a spokesman for the Red Cross in Haiti, tells the
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BBC World Service that conditions have been appalling. "The devastation is just as impressive from the air as it is from the ground. You mix this with factors such as the already impoverished and under-developed nature of the country, the fact that it was still just recovering from very, very serious weather-related natural disasters in the recent past - this is not a scenario that leads to a very positive prognosis."

1245: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the death toll will reach "tens of thousands" and the aid will require a "long-term effort".

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1243 RAMhaiti tweets: "The streets are now Haiti's living room and bedroom with everything closed. Money, food, drinks, supplies, rotting bodies, frustration, impatience, despair will all become a problem...Jacmel has had much destruction, school kids caught in collapsing buildings...the devastation is so widespread that the folks who should be helping, are probably taking care of their own issues."

Matthew Price
1235 The BBC's Matthew Price at a hospital in Port-au-Prince says: "The smell is nauseating. Bodies lie outside on the lawn, among them lie the injured and inside the screams and whimpers of those in pain echo down the corridors."

Matthew Price describes the "grim" scenes at a Port-au-Prince hospital

1210 David Darg, an aid worker with Operation Blessing International on his way to Haiti from Miami, tells the BBC the situation is nightmarish: "I sifted through the internet for reports of damage and couldn't believe the horror unfolding in a nation that has already endured so much. A day that started with us fixing a broken sewer turned into a day of a broken city."

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1202 Steven Watson, in Kingston, Jamaica, emails:"I was sitting in a pick-up truck in Kingston, Jamaica and it shook for about 30 seconds. It felt like a freight train was passing close by. My thoughts and prayers are with the Haitian people at this time."

1150 Yael Talleyrand, in Jacmel, Haiti, has sent photos of her home town to the BBC, including this one of a newly built hotel now in ruins.

Collapsed hotel in Jacmel, Haiti

David Loyn
1142 The BBC's David Loyn in the Dominican Republic says: "A team of British fire officers from seven regions have arrived and are now making their way in a light plane to neighbouring Haiti to help in the earthquake rescue. They are carrying sophisticated listening equipment to detect life."

e-mail sent in by reader
1135 Immanuel Kenneth, India, e-mails: "My American friend was in Haiti to see her brother who is a doctor in Haiti. I last spoke to her on Skype on January 12. I have had no contact since then. I pray that she is safe."

1126 Haiti's ambassador to the UN, Leo Merores, tells the BBC World Service the government is still functioning - President Rene Preval and Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive are assessing the situation in Port-au-Prince. "The process of finding the survivors and pulling out the dead has begun. But it's an extremely slow process because so many buildings have been completely destroyed," he says.

1124 The UN says 100 of its staff are still unaccounted for after the quake, the AFP news agency reports.

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1121 Subash Neupane, Kathmandu, Nepal, e-mails: "I was shocked to learn the news about the devastating earthquake and broken communication channels. Thanks to the internet my uncle, who is working under UN peacekeeping force in Haiti, was able to send me the message that he is safe. May the relief reach the people soon."

1110 The BBC's Jack Izzard says only a trickle of aid flights have arrived in Haiti so far but that will increase as the operation picks up speed. The first flights will be carrying emergency food and medical supplies, then heavy lifting equipment will arrive to move the rubble.

1052 The Red Cross says that since the quake, 1,360 Haitians - including 148 people in Haiti "saying they were alive" - have registered on its website which helps track down missing family members

1047 US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has arrived back in the US to deal with the country's response to the quake, after cutting short a tour of the Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

1028 Countries around the world are scrambling to send assistance to Haiti. Among others, China has sent 10 tonnes of tents and medical equipment, the European Commission has pledged $4.37m (£2.7m: 3m euro), Israel is sending an elite army rescue unit of engineers and doctors and US Navy vessels are making their way there - AP reports.

1024 The Miami Herald has pictures of aid leaving Florida for Haiti and of the local Haitian community holding prayer vigils for the country.

Matthew Price
1013 The BBC's Matthew Price in Port-au-Prince says: "It is the sight that awaits you inside the hospital grounds that is most alarming. It is as if a massacre has been perpetrated here."

1010 Laura Bickle, an American working in an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, tells the BBC World Service the enormity of the disaster is hard to comprehend. "All the parks are filled with people - they either have no home to go to or they are too scared to go home. They are pulling people out of the rubble, literally, blood running in the gutter like water."

1005 The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) in the UK has launched an appeal for donations.

0948 Belinda Luescher, a spokeswoman for the World Food Programme (WFP), tells the BBC aid agencies have a "huge task" ahead of them in Haiti. "The people of Haiti need everything, and they need it now. Just in a normal day the World Food Programme will be feeding one or two million people in Haiti and now we need to do even more, because the people have lost everything."

0942 The BBC's Nick Davis in Port-au-Prince says: "There is no mortuary big enough for the numbers who have died. The only sign of anything being done is a commercial flat-bed van onto which police officers are stacking bodies."

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0933 Carel Pedre tweets: "The last aftershock was short but there are thousands of people homeless and helpless on the streets… 70 minutes of sleep since Monday morning!...First aftershock of the day. Haiti is sill shaking!! HELP!!... Now we need to be organised. Let's make it happen, people. Haiti needs you."

0919 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, Tearfund

In the US: Mercy Corps, American Red Cross, Unicef USA, The Global Orphan Project, International Rescue Committee

These organisations also have ways to donate:

International Red Cross, International Medical Corps, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Save The Children, ActionAid, International Relief and Development

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

0912 Mike Thomas, co-ordinating the UK's rescue response in Haiti, tells the BBC his team's priority will be to identify areas where people are trapped alive in rubble. "We're hoping we can get our dogs there quickly, they'll be invaluable in helping target those areas," he says.

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0907 fredodupoux tweets: "People in the streets are chanting as the night settles. People lost their houses and are sleeping on newspapers in the streets."

0850 Tamar Hahn of Unicef tells the BBC that although the media focus has been on Port-au-Prince, other towns in Haiti have been "very, very severely affected".

0832 The UN says damage to the capital, Port-au-Prince, is "massive and broad," with perhaps hundreds of thousands of homes destroyed - Reuters report.

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0830 RAMhaiti tweets: "St Gerard Church and the school behind it are destroyed. People are alive in the rubble. I look at the sky, see the stars, and it's as if nothing was wrong. The singing, the praying and the sirens bring me back to reality."

Matthew Price
0816 The BBC's Matthew Price in Haiti says: In places there is barely anything left of this city. And so far the people are largely having to cope on their own. For some, the only hope is to dig with their bare hands. This is a race against time. This country - so often forgotten by the world - now needs its help more than ever.

0810 The scale of the Haiti earthquake is still emerging, with the Red Cross reporting that millions could be in need of humanitarian aid. 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.

Haiti earthquake as it happened: 13 January


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