The earthquake that struck Haiti is believed to be the most powerful one to hit the country in nearly two centuries. The full extent of the damage is gradually being uncovered.
The top priorities at this time are rescue and relief operations. The Haitian government is appealing for international help.
The peace and tranquility were totally shattered two nights ago.
The haitian capital and many other parts of the Caribbean country are at the mercy of natures forces.
The present state of the Presidential Palace is only a glimpse of how serious the damage is throughout the country.
Many important government buildings, schools, hospitals and public facilities have been devastated.
A sense of helplessness is accompanying some people's desperate search for their loved ones.
No one can say for sure how heavy the casualties are. Haitian President Rene Prevel says he has heard reports the death toll could be from 30-thousand to 50-thousand. But as the rescue operation continues, it's feared that estimate will be low.
In addition to finding survivors, their condition and treatment are of equal importance.
Jean-Max Bellerive, Haitian Prime Minister, said, "We are going to need water, food and medicine, because there are a lot of people injured and we have not yet found all those people buried under their houses and as we continue with this work we will need a lot of medications and a lot of help."
The quake's epicenter was only about 15 kilometers from Port-au-Prince. Some four million people live in and around the city.
At this point, it's hard to estimate how much supplies and relief materials will be needed to cover peoples' most basic needs. But in the face of a disaster of such magnitude, the speedy arrival of international assistance is certainly a blessing.
(CCTV.com January 14, 2010)