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Strong Quake Measuring 7.0 Hits Haiti

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A strong earthquake measuring 7 on the Richter scale hit the Caribbean nation of Haiti 6 hours ago. The quake was followed by two powerful aftershocks measuring 5.9 and 5.5, minutes later.

An official with the US Geological Survey called it the strongest earthquake since 1770 in what is now Haiti.

The epicenter of the quake was located inland, only 16 kilometers southwest of the capital Port-au-Prince and was very shallow at a depth of about 10 kilometers.

The tremor has collapsed buildings in the capital, burying residents under rubble. The United Nations said their headquarters in Port-au-Prince sustained serious damage, and a large number of personnel remain unaccounted for.

Several government buildings were also damaged, including the presidential palace. But President Rene Preval and his wife escaped safely.

(CCTV January 14, 2010)