Latest updates: Haitian quake

A magnitude-7 quake in Haiti yesterday sent buildings tumbling, trapping thousands under rubble. Numerous aftershocks continued throughout the night.

11.49: The quake affected roughly one in three Haitians - approximately 3 million people - the Red Cross estimates.

11.34: The US State Department is asking journalists to "get the word out" that US citizens in Haiti who want to be evacuated should go to the airport, reports CNN.

11.25: The Obama administration is temporarily suspending deportations of undocumented Haitian nationals who are in the United States, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announces at a news conference in Miami.

11.20: The World Bank says it will provide $100 million (NZ$135.1 million) in emergency aid to Haiti to support recovery and reconstruction work in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck the Caribbean nation.

11.12: The international Red Cross says that one third of Haiti's nine million people may need emergency aid but it would take a day or two for a clear picture of the damage to emerge.

11.06: Haiti's parliament, tax office, hospitals, and schools have all collapsed, President Rene Preval confirms to the media.

"There are a lot of schools that have a lot of dead people in them," he says.

11.01: There are reports prison inmates have managed to escape from Haiti's main jail after the building was damaged by yesterday's earthquake says UN spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs.

10.54: The UN says 14 UN personnel were killed when an earthquake decimated Haiti's capital, and 150 are still unaccounted for, including the mission chief. The fatalities include 13 peacekeepers - 10 Brazilians and three Jordanians - and a Haitian civilian working for the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti.

UN officials say 56 others were injured and that seven seriously hurt were medically evacuated from Haiti.

10.38: Another aftershock rattles Port-au-Prince, Haiti, reports CNN.

10.33: Oprah Winfrey, Paris Hilton and Ben Stiller are among the celebrities and artists urging support for survivors of the earthquake in Haiti.

Socialite Paris Hilton, actor Ben Stiller, and musician Adam Lambert have all 'tweeted' on the internet social forum Twitter to encourage people to donate to Unicef's Haiti earthquake relief fund.

Winfrey is asking viewers to donate to the Red Cross.

"This is a time where we, as a global nation, should come together and support those who are in need," says Winfrey.

10.08: The FBI is reminding internet users who receive appeals to donate money in the aftermath of Haiti's earthquake, to apply a "critical eye" and "do their due diligence" before responding to those requests.

Past natural disasters encouraged some people to solicit contributions purportedly for a charity or cause, the FBI says.

Consequently, it is asking people to act cautiously, advising people to only click on attachments from known senders and to avoid clicking website links on unsolicited emails.

09.54: Countries around the world are quick to pledge aid for victims in Haiti. Canada is sending an immediate $5 million Canadian (NZ$6.4 million) to the Haitian government and has put transport planes, helicopters, a hospital ship and a disaster response team on standby.

Spain pledges €3 million (NZ$5.9 million), three planes with rescue teams and 100 tonnes of emergency relief equipment. Germany pledges €1.5 million (NZ$2 million) and sends an immediate response team. Another team with 20 rescue dogs is on standby.

Italy is pledging €1 million (NZ$1.9 million). China will donate $1 million (NZ$1.3 million), reports Xinhua News Agency.

09.33: A spokesman for the American Red Cross says the aid organisation has already run out of medical supplies in Haiti.

Red Cross spokesman Eric Porterfield says that the small amount of medical equipment and medical supplies that were available in Haiti has been distributed.

The Red Cross is sending more medical supplies to Haiti but it is not known when they will arrive.

09.24: Haitians are piling bodies along the devastated streets of their capital after yesterday's powerful earthquake flattened the president's palace, the cathedral, hospitals, schools, the main prison and whole neighbourhoods.

Plastic tarps and cotton sheets are being used to cover the bodies to stop the flies from swarming.

09.06: The 'tweeting' of musician Wyclef Jean, most famously a member of the now-defunct Fugees and one of Haiti's most famous sons, is a galvanizing force on the internet in drumming up public financial support.

Jean, who flew to Haiti soon after hearing news of the earthquake, is urging people to send a text to the charity, Yele, to donate toward aid relief.

Hundreds on Twitter are passing his message on by the minute.

The Yele website, inundated with donations, crashed under the traffic but the organisation is working to fix the problem and increase the site's bandwidth.

08.49: None of three aid centres run by Doctors without Borders in Haiti is operable, the group says. Doctors Without Borders has about 800 staff in Haiti, many of whom have not been accounted for.

08.38: Youri Latortue, a leading Haitian senator believes the death toll may reach 500,000 given the extent to which yesterday's earthquake damaged the small country.

Exact numbers cannot yet be confirmed but Felix Augustin, the Haitian Consul General to the UN, tells reporters in New York that it is already believed "more than 100,000 are dead".

08.20: Sniffer dogs, high-energy biscuits and tonnes of emergency medical aid are heading to Haiti as governments and aid groups around the world launch a massive relief effort for the estimated 3 million people reeling from the effects of the devastating earthquake.

On an personal level, Twitter and Facebook have become popular online forums for people worldwide to not only convey their sympathy, but to also share ways about how individuals can donate money to assist in relief efforts.

08.02: Up to 100 people are missing in the rubble of the UN headquarters building and other UN offices that collapsed when yesterday's earthquake decimated Haiti's capital.

Among those unaccounted for is the mission chief, Tunisian diplomat Hedi Annabi.

07.48: One of the US Navy's large amphibious ships will likely take a Marine expeditionary unit to Haiti to help after the quake, General Douglas Fraser says.

An initial contingent of 2,000 Marines could be deployed to the quake-ravaged country within the next few days to either help with emergency aid distribution or enforce law in order in conjunction with UN peacekeepers already there.

07.09: In an official news conference, US President Barack Obama extends "deep condolences" to people of Haiti.

He says that he has ordered a "swift" and "coordinated" response.

06.56: US President Barack Obama says US civilian disaster assistance and search and rescue teams will be arriving from about 1.30pm Wednesday local time (7.30am Thursday NZT).

He said damage to Haiti had been assessed from above during military overflights.

06.50: Haitian Prime Minister tells CNN the death toll from the earthquake could be 100,000.

06.40: The UN says the main prison in the capital fell during the quake "and there are reports of escaped inmates".


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