Officials fear more than 100K dead in quake

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 - 12:35pm

HAITI – Haitians are piling bodies along the devastated streets of their capital after a powerful earthquake flattened the president's palace and the main prison, the cathedral, hospitals, schools and thousands of homes. Untold numbers are still trapped.

President Rene Preval says he believes thousands of people are dead even as other officials give much higher estimates — though they were based on the extent of the destruction rather than firm counts of the dead.

His prime minister, Jean-Max Bellerive, tells CNN: "I believe we are well over 100,000," while leading senator Youri Latortue tells The Associated Press that 500,000 could be dead. Both admit they have no way of knowing.

The magnitude-7 quake struck Tuesday afternoon.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haitians are piling bodies along the devastated streets of their capital after a powerful earthquake flattened the president's palace and the main prison, the cathedral, hospitals, schools and thousands of homes. Untold numbers are still trapped.

President Rene Preval says he believes thousands of people are dead. His prime minister, Jean-Max Bellerive, tells CNN: "I believe we are well over 100,000," though he gives no basis for that estimate and says he hopes it isn't true.

Preval told the Miami Herald on Wednesday that: "Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed."

The magnitude-7 quake struck Tuesday afternoon.

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