Hundreds of people are believed to have been killed or injured following a devastating earthquake in Haiti.
The US Geological Survey measured the minute long tremor at 7,3. The epicentre was just 10 km from the capital Port-au-Prince.
It said to have caused chaos and widespread destruction in the densely populated city that is home to up to three million people.
Raymond Alcide Joseph, Haiti’s ambassador to the United States said: “I am quite sure we will need everything. The White House in Haiti – which we call the Palace – is damaged. There are some shanty towns around Port-au-Prince, on the hills, they have collapsed like cards.”
Many parts of the capital are said to be covered by a cloud of dust with people buried under the rubble of topple buildings.
The UN’s peacekeeping mission headquarters is also reported to have been badly damaged and many of its staff are missing.
Haiti, one of the world’s poorest country’s, has barely recovered from a devastating hurricane two years ago.
With communication, phone and power lines down, it may be some time before there is a clear idea of the full extent of this latest disaster.