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Quake Destroys 90% of Haitian Town Leogane

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Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude earthquake destroyed 90 percent of Leogane, the municipality 30 kilometers west of Haiti's capital that was the epicenter of the quake, United Nations spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said on Saturday.

Haitian police said that between 5,000 and 10,000 residents of the town, with a population of 134,000, had died and that many of them remain trapped in the rubble. Between 40 percent and 50 percent of buildings collapsed in nearby towns Carrefour, population 334,000; and Gressier, 25,000.

Some 27 rescue teams from a variety of nations including China are now working intensively in these areas, Byrs said. Some 58 people have been pulled alive from the rubble.

The spokeswoman said that rescue work remains difficult because of scarce transport, communication and fuel.

The latest UN and Red Cross estimate is that 100,000 died and three million were made homeless by the quake, in the West Hemisphere's poorest nation, which shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic.

(Xinhua News Agency January 17, 2010)

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