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Many feared dead after quake hits Haiti

RIA Novosti


UNITED NATIONS, January 13 (RIA Novosti) - Hundreds of people are believed to have died after a powerful earthquake struck off the coast of Haiti.

Raymond Joseph, Haiti's ambassador to the U.S., said from Washington: "I think it is really a catastrophe of major proportions."

Rachmani Domersant, an operations manager with the Food for the Poor charity, told Reuters, "I think hundreds of casualties would be a serious understatement."

A large number of United Nations officials are also missing, UN peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy said.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti on Tuesday, causing a hospital and other buildings to collapse. The quake's epicenter was 10 miles southwest of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. It was followed by two 5.9 and 5.0 aftershocks.

U.S. President Barack Obama gave orders to assist the impoverished Caribbean nation.

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