Dazed and injured Haitians sat on darkened streets pleading for help and untold numbers were trapped in tons of rubble brought down by the strongest earthquake to hit this poor Caribbean nation in more than 200 years.

The extent of destruction from the 7.0-magnitude tremor was far from clear and estimating the number of casualties was impossible.

The Presidential Palace crumbled into itself and the headquarters of the UN peacekeeping mission collapsed.

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