Haiti earthquake: history of natural disasters to hit the countryHaiti has been struck by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, killing an unknown number of people. The small, impoverished country is prone to severe and deadly natural disasters, especially hurricanes. Severe deforestation, leading to flooding and landslides, and a lack of proper emergency services and infrastructure has resulted in the storms causing the deaths of thousands of Haitians.
Witnesses said the damage was staggering. Tens of thousands of people are estimated to be homeless.
The death toll was expected to climb into the hundreds, but no official figure has been released so far.
Most radio and television stations stopped functioning, and the airwaves were only punctuated by a few rare radio appeals for help.
The Haitian presidential palace stands in ruins.
Haitian police vehicles as well as those from the United Nations and the Red Cross tried to ferry the wounded to hospital, but progress was slow as chunks of rubble lay strewn across the roads.
The tremor sparked widespread panic as it brought down buildings including the presidential palace, hotels, a hospital and the UN head quarters in the capital Port-au-Prince.
Rescue teams were hampered when communications went down in the minutes after the earthquake struck at 2153 GMT, but efforts to free people trapped in the debris continued throughout the night.
2010-01-14 13:30 编辑：kuaileyingyu