On Tuesday January 12, at approximately 4:53pm, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the small Caribbean island of Haiti, leaving the capital city of Port-au-Prince and outlying areas in ruins. On Thursday, January 14, the Haitian Red Cross estimated that 45,000 to 50,000 people may be dead, but stressed that this was only a rough estimate. By Saturday, January 16, estimates placed the potential death toll beyond 100,000. The International Federation of the Red Cross reported that up to 3 million people throughout the island have been affected by the quake and tens of thousands are in need of urgent assistance. Many thousands more remain missing or trapped in collapsed buildings, in what has now become a frantic rescue mission. Eyewitnesses speaking to the BBCreported that after the conclusion of the quake, Port-Au-Prince was covered in a blanket of dust. Those who survived were forced to sleep in city streets in fear of further collapses from the numerous after-shocks.

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