Haitians help a wounded child on January 12 in the capital, Port-au-Prince (Haiti map), which was completely devastated by a magnitude 7 earthquake.
The Haiti earthquake toppled buildings, including the president's National Palace, a hospital, and schools, trapping untold numbers in the debris and killing perhaps thousands of others.
After the Haiti earthquake, witnesses described "general mayhem" in the impoverished Caribbean city, which has no electricity, phone service, or passable roads, the New York Times reported.
"We can hear people calling for help from every corner. The aftershocks are ongoing and making people very nervous," observer Kristie van de Wetering told the Times.
As the dust settles following the Haiti earthquake, experts expect "catastrophic" damage and loss of life, the newspaper said. A third of Haiti's nine million people may need emergency aid, according to the International Red Cross.
Haitiearthquake victims sleep in the streets of Port-au-Prince in the predawn hours of Wednesday, January 13, 2009. The January 12 earthquake's effects are being felt in every strata of Haitian society, from the capital's shantytowns to the presidential palace, which partially collapsed.
"Parliament has collapsed," Haitian President René Préval told the Miami Herald. "The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed. There are a lot of schools that have a lot of dead people in them.
"All of the hospitals are packed with people," he added. "It is a catastrophe."