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Page last updated at 16:58 GMT, Thursday, 4 March 2010

Children tell of quake horror and sorrow in Haiti

When Sareen Bains was sent to Port au Prince to report on the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake for BBC Radio, she found powerful stories and a devastated city.

The aftermath of the Haiti earthquake
Children search for valuables in the quake debris

Now back in the UK, she has sat down with School Reporters from Villiers High School, in Ealing, west London, to tell them how the earthquake changed the lives of the people of Haiti.

The students asked Sareen about the difficult journey to Haiti immediately after the earthquake, which struck just before 5pm on Tuesday 12 January.

"We left on the Thursday and travelled to Haiti via the United States and the Dominican Republic. We arrived on the Friday, which was three days after the earthquake," she said.

Children from Haiti and UK will be linking up on School Report News Day on 11 March

The students were also keen to hear how Sareen and her colleagues coped with the desperate situation they found when they arrived in the Haitian capital, Port au Prince.

"We took lots of extra battery power with us, fully charged. We took tents, sleeping bags and vacuum packed food," she said.

The School Reporters were also interested in the impact of the relief effort, which their school had contributed to with various fundraising events.

Sareen said initially there was "quite a lot of chaos" and she added: "The United Nations suffered quite significantly, the head of the UN mission there was killed in the earthquake."

The School Reporters from Villiers High School have also listened to accounts of Haitian children, who described their experiences of the earthquake.

'House was shaking'

Francis, who is 14, described the moment the earthquake hit: "Suddenly I felt the house shaking. Just a second after we got away from the house the side of the house fell."

Describing the relief effort in the country Francis said; "The US army men have built tents for the bigger boys to sleep in."

Another student, 12-year-old Ronaldo, talked about his favourite subject at school, and his hobbies.

"My favourite subject is history because it puts me in connection with the people who lived on the Earth a long time ago" he said.

Villiers School Reporters are preparing to interview this group of students, from the Christian Light School, in Port au Prince, on School Report News Day on 11 March.


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