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Page last updated at 14:49 GMT, Sunday, 24 January 2010

Haiti earthquake: Day by day

Survivor Wismond Exantus Jean Pierre is taken to a French field hospital in Port-au-Prince, Jan 23
Wismond Exantus was pulled from the ruins of a hotel after 11 days

Estimates of the numbers killed in the Haitian earthquake range from 100,000 to 200,000. This is how events unfolded after the quake - with a magnitude of 7.0 - struck at 1653 local time (2153 GMT) on Tuesday, 12 January.

SATURDAY 23 JANUARY

International search teams continued their work to find survivors, despite the Haitian government calling an official end to the rescue phase, and were rewarded by pulling Wismond Exantus from the remains of the Napoli Inn Hotel 11 days after the quake.

Greek, French and US rescue teams were involved in the two-and-a-half-hour operation to bring him out.

Meanwhile, organisers of the Hope for Haiti telethon in the US said it had raised more than $57m (£35m) for victims.

They said Friday night's event had set a new record for disaster relief telethons.

FRIDAY 22 JANUARY

Two people were rescued after spending 10 days under the rubble.

An 84-year-old woman and 21-year-old man were pulled out alive in Port-au-Prince, but with no further signs of life reported the Haitian government declared the rescue effort over at 1600 local time (2100 GMT).

Later a massive benefit concert was broadcast to try to raise money for victims.

The two-hour Hope for Haiti telethon featured more than 100 Hollywood and music stars.

The concert, which took place in New York, Los Angeles, London and Haiti, included Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Rihanna, Brad Pitt, Clint Eastwood, Julia Roberts and Leonardo DiCaprio.

THURSDAY 21 JANUARY

About 400,000 survivors will be moved to tented villages outside the capital, Port-au-Prince, with 100,000 people initially being sent to 10 settlements near the suburb of Croix Des Bouquets, Interior Minister Paul Antoine Bien-Aime announced.

The International Organisation for Migration, distributing tents and plastic sheeting, warned that more permanent shelter would soon be needed by the 500,000 people living outdoors.

In a bid to deliver greater quantities of aid, the US military was operating at four airports in the region - Port-au-Prince and Jacmel in Haiti, and San Isidro and Barahona in the neighbouring Dominican Republic.

The US Coast Guard partially reopened the capital's main sea port which was damaged in the quake. Four vessels had docked by Thursday evening.

WEDNESDAY 20 JANUARY

A strong aftershock rocked Haiti , sending screaming people running into the streets. Some buildings already weakened by last week's quake collapsed.

The magnitude 6.1 tremor struck west of Port-au-Prince at 0603 local time (1103 GMT).

Map of aftershock

The aftershock hit as people were still being found alive in the rubble from the original quake. They included a five-year-old boy reportedly pulled from the ruins of his home by his uncle. Earlier a 10-year-old girl and her eight-year-old brother were found.

More than 120 people altogether have been rescued by international teams.

The US announced it was sending another 4,000 sailors and marines to Haiti for the earthquake relief effort, diverting them from deployments in the Gulf and Africa.

Many victims unable to find treatment in Haiti, have crossed the border into the Dominican Republic. But the BBC's Gary Duffy says the volume of patients is so great the hospitals there are struggling to cope.

Haitian officials said the death toll from the quake was likely to be between 100,000 and 200,000, and that 75,000 bodies had already been buried in mass graves. An estimated 1.5 million are homeless.

TUESDAY 19 JANUARY

The US presence in the country increased as Black Hawk helicopters dropped scores of troops into the grounds of the ruined presidential palace.

Captain Steve McInerney: "They do rush the aircraft which can be expected"

The UN Security Council also voted unanimously to send a further 3,500 UN troops and police to Haiti, to maintain law and order.

Officials said the general security situation was stable, but the BBC's Nick Davis in Port-au-Prince said there were concerns that looting and violence were a growing threat.

Meanwhile, doctors said they were having to carry out hundreds of amputations, with only basic medical equipment, because of the large numbers of people suffering gangrene or traumatic injuries.

Medecins Sans Frontieres told the BBC their plane carrying 12 tonnes of medical aid was repeatedly denied permission to land at Port-au-Prince's congested airport.

Search and rescue teams received a boost when an apparently unharmed elderly woman, Ena Zizi, was pulled from the rubble of the capital's Catholic cathedral, one of 90 people found alive in Haiti's ruins so far.

The BBC's Christian Fraser said that while some markets on the road to Port-au-Prince were still open, their supplies were running low and becoming increasingly expensive.

MONDAY 18 JANUARY

The leading US general in Haiti Lt Gen Ken Keen said it was a "reasonable assumption" that up to 200,000 people might have died in last Tuesday's earthquake.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he would recommend that the Security Council boost UN troop numbers in Haiti by 2,000 for six months, and UN police numbers by 1,500.

Bill Clinton: "There's no question it's not enough, not quick enough"

Meanwhile, almost a week after the earthquake violence and looting have broken out in parts of Port-au-Prince. Police fired shots to disperse looters in parts of the capital.

UN police fired baton rounds to force a crowd back from the gates of the airport.

The former American President Bill Clinton, who is in Haiti as a special UN representative, said that given the circumstances, it was understandable that there had been some disorder.

Thousands of people were fleeing the capital, Port-au-Prince, with many leaving for the countryside in the hope of finding food and water.

The BBC's Mark Doyle came across what is left of a poor community in the hills above the capital, to find a group of people - their homes destroyed - trying to heat up some food scraps in a pan of thin soup, their only meal of the day.

SUNDAY 17 JANUARY

First reports from the epicentre of Tuesday's earthquake suggested the damage was even more dramatic than in the capital.

BBC correspondents said the scene in Leogane was "apocalyptic", with thousands left homeless and almost every building destroyed.

The UN said up to 80-90% of buildings in Leogane, about 19km (12 miles) west of Port-au-Prince, had been destroyed.

The extent of the damage in Haiti's villages

In the capital, survivors were becoming desperate as they waited for aid being handed out by international agencies.

But in a sign of hope, rescuers pulled a woman alive from the rubble.

"It's a little miracle," the woman's husband, Reinhard Riedl, told the Associated Press news agency after she was rescued from a luxury hotel.

The Pan American Health Organization put the death toll at 50,000-100,000, while Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said 100,000 "would seem a minimum".

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton , the first senior overseas politician to arrive in Haiti, said the US would be "here today, tomorrow and for the time ahead", asserting that "Haiti can come back even better and stronger in the future".

SATURDAY 16 JANUARY

Desperation among survivors of the earthquake led to rising fears over security in Port-au-Prince.

There were some reports of gangs preying on residents and looting, and officials said thousands of prisoners were unaccounted for after the main prison was destroyed.

Student Billy Clerge freed from university

Damage to the seaport, roads and other infrastructure still prevented the speedy distribution of food, water and medical supplies. Relief was arriving, but little had moved beyond the jammed airport.

A spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs said aid workers were dealing with a disaster "like no other" in UN memory because the country had been "decapitated".

Interior Minister Paul Antoine Bien-Aime said 50,000 bodies had been collected, but the total number of dead could be "between 100,000 and 200,000".

The UN launched an appeal for $562m (£346m) intended to help three million people for six months.

FRIDAY 15 JANUARY

Many spent another day without food and shelter in the ruined capital.

The BBC's Andy Gallacher in Port-au-Prince said survivors were dying in huge numbers, and clean water, food and medical supplies were desperately needed.

Satellite image showing logistical problems

Shaul Schwarz, a photographer for Time magazine, told the BBC he had seen a roadblock formed with bodies of quake victims on a main road, south of the capital.

He said he believed this was an "act of anger" on the part of people who were not getting help.

Bottlenecks and infrastructure damage were said to be holding up aid efforts - with estimates of the number of dead put at as many as 45,000-50,000.

Dramatic stories of survival began to emerge. UK firefighters pulled two-year-old Haitian girl Mia from the rubble where she had been trapped for three days when her kindergarten totally collapsed.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told of one UN staff member found alive beneath the rubble of the international body's collapsed headquarters in Port-au-Prince.

Estonian protection officer Tarmo Joveer, Mr Ban said, was only found after "scratching sounds" were heard and was kept alive by being "given water through a rubber pipe".

THURSDAY 14 JANUARY

Thousands spent a second night in the open after the earthquake, as the search for survivors under the rubble went on after darkness.

The first US aid planes landed at the airport serving the capital and US naval ships were on the way.

EU states, Russia and China were among those sending rescue and medical teams by plane while pledges of aid were made by countries around Latin America.

Graphic of the rescue operation

The BBC's Andy Gallacher in Port-au-Prince said the situation in the capital was increasingly desperate with no sense of a co-ordinated rescue effort, scant medical supplies and aid only trickling in.

Efforts to rescue survivors trapped in rubble were hampered by the lack of heavy-lifting equipment and much of the work was being done by individuals with simple tools or their hands.

Officials at the UN said between 100 and 150 people from its 9,000-strong peacekeeping mission in Haiti were still missing after the earthquake.

They included UN mission head Hedi Annabi of Tunisia and his chief deputy, Luis Carlos da Costa.

Haitian President Rene Preval spoke of how he stepped over dead bodies and heard cries of those trapped in the parliament building.

WEDNESDAY 13 JANUARY

As dawn broke, the extent of the damage and the number of casualties started to become clearer.

The Red Cross said up to three million people had been affected. Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said he believed more than 100,000 people had died .

Describing the earthquake as a "catastrophe", Haiti's envoy to the US said the cost of the damage could run into billions of dollars.

Satellite image of Port-au-Prince

Haitian President Rene Preval described the scene in the capital as "unimaginable".

"Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed," he said.

Speaking in Washington, US President Barack Obama vowed "unwavering support" for Haiti after what he called a "cruel and incomprehensible" disaster.

UN officials said at least 14 people had died when the UN's five-storey headquarters and two smaller buildings in Port-au-Prince collapsed. Around 100 were still thought to be missing, many feared to be under the rubble.

People in the capital were lifting sheets on bodies to try to identify loved ones.

TUESDAY 12 JANUARY

The quake - Haiti's worst in two centuries - struck at 1653 (2153 GMT) . Phone lines to the country failed shortly afterwards. The US Geological Survey said its epicentre was 15km (10 miles) south-west of Port-au-Prince, and that it was quickly followed by two strong aftershocks of 5.9 and 5.5 magnitude. The extent of the devastation was initially unclear.

In a statement issued in New York, the UN said that its local HQ in Haiti had "sustained serious damage along with other UN installations" and "a large number" of personnel were missing.

Map

Rachmani Domersant, an operations manager with the Food for the Poor charity, told Reuters: "You have thousands of people sitting in the streets with nowhere to go. There are people running, crying, screaming."

Bodies white with dust could be seen piled on the back of a pick-up truck as vehicles tried to ferry the injured to hospital.

In the minutes after the quake, Henry Bahn, a visiting official from the US Department of Agriculture, said he had seen houses which had tumbled into a ravine.

"Everybody is just totally, totally freaked out and shaken," said Mr Bahn, who described the sky as "just grey with dust".



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