Thousands feared dead in earthquake

A MASSIVE earthquake has hit the Caribbean country of Haiti with thousands feared dead and many more homeless.

A MASSIVE earthquake has hit the Caribbean country of Haiti with thousands feared dead and many more homeless.

The powerful tremor struck the capital city of Port-au-Prince yesterday and was reportedly the biggest quake to hit the country in more than 200 years.

It is believed up to three million people could be affected.

Buildings were toppled, including the presidential palace, United Nation's buildings and a hospital.

The streets of the capital were filled with the dead and injured, as well as shocked survivors who sobbed and sung hymns.

The UK Government said it was “deeply concerned” about the reported scale of the earthquake and was sending a team from the Department for International Development (DFID) to assess the humanitarian needs.

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Essex County Fire and Rescue Service's urban search and rescue team, which is sometimes sent abroad to help find at disaster scenes, has not been put on stand-by to go to Haiti.

However, a team of specially trained firefighters from West Sussex were among those preparing to fly out to help rescue victims.

They are to be joined by doctors and medical staff as part of the UK International Search and Rescue response, along with colleagues from six other fire and rescue services from around the country.

They hope to depart on a flight from Gatwick Airport being organised by the Department for International Development (DFID) as soon as weather conditions allow.

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