Major quake hits Haiti; many casualties expected - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Major quake hits Haiti; many casualties expected

Injured person being carried out of a damaged building in Port-au-Prince Injured person being carried out of a damaged building in Port-au-Prince

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - An aid official says Haiti is a scene of "total disaster and chaos" after being hit by a powerful earthquake. The 7.0 quake and several strong aftershocks collapsed a hospital and damaged other buildings. But it's impossible to get a clear picture of the damage, with communications widely disrupted.

The chaos was reported by a Catholic Relief Services representative in the capital of Port-au -Prince, who spoke to U.S. colleagues before the phone service failed. A spokeswoman for the aid group in Maryland says the representative speculated that "there must be thousands of people dead."

Quake expert Tom Jordan at the University of Southern California says the earthquake's size and proximity to populated Port-Au-Prince likely caused widespread casualties and structural damage. An Associated Press videographer saw a wrecked hospital in a hillside district of Port-au-Prince that is home to many diplomats and wealthy Haitians, as well as many poor people.

Elsewhere in the capital, a U.S. government official reported seeing houses that had tumbled into a ravine.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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