Photos: Haiti struggles to recover

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  1. Children train at L'Athletique d'Haiti sports center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on July 3. The center is run by former Haitian athlete Robert Duval, who aims to give children and young people a structured environment that steers them away from crime. After the Jan. 12 earthquake, the center had hundreds of people camping on its training fields. The quake killed as many as 300,000 people and destroyed about 105,000 homes, 1,300 schools and 50 hospitals. About 1.5 million Haitians remain homeless. (Andres Martinez Casares / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. A man walks amid rubble and damaged buildings in downtown Port-au-Prince on June 30. Haiti has made little progress in rebuilding in the five months since its earthquake, because of an absence of leadership, disagreements among donors and general disorganization, a recent U.S. Senate report says. (Alexandre Meneghini / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. People scavenge for items of value in the garbage as a truck empties its contents in the Truitier garbage dump in Port-au-Prince on June 23. The poor look for metal and plastic objects to sell to recyclers for a few cents a pound. (Alexandre Meneghini / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. A woman tries to repair her tent at a refugee camp in Cite Soleil on June 23, a day after a storm hit. Cite Soleil is one of the poorest neighborhoods in Port-Au-Prince. (Andres Martinez Casares / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Two men are detained during a security operation at a refugee camp next to La Saline neighborhood in Port au Prince on June 18. Police joined U.N. officers to detain more than 20 people and seize several weapons. (Andres Martinez Casares / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. A boy covers his head with a T-shirt as a storm hits the refugee camp of Tapis Verts in Cite Soleil, Port au Prince, June 8. (Andres Martinez Casares / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. People pray in front of the destroyed national palace during a Corpus Christi procession in Port-au-Prince on June 3. (Alexandre Meneghini / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. People run from tear gas thrown by riot police during a protest May 25 against Haiti's President Rene Preval and the United Nations Stabilization Mission in front of the National Palace in Port-au-Prince. (Esteban Felix / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Students take part in a Haitian Flag Day celebration in Arcahaie on May 18. Haitians celebrated the 207th anniversary of the creation of their flag. (Esteban Felix / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. A woman jumps along a wall to reach an outdoor slaughterhouse, top right, at La Saline market in Port-au-Prince on May 15. (Esteban Felix / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Goats hang for sale at La Saline market on May 15. (Esteban Felix / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. People are sprinkled with holy water during a catholic ritual honoring the Virgin of Fatima outside a church in Port-au-Prince on May 12. (Esteban Felix / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Doctors look at an X-ray using sunlight coming through a door's window in an emergency room at the General Hospital of Port-au-Prince on May 7. Medical workers are treating patients in damaged hospitals and tent-camp clinics. Despite international pledges of some $5.3 billion over two years at the United Nations donors' conference for Haiti in March, by mid-June only a fraction had actually been delivered — just $40 million from Brazil. (Esteban Felix / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Three-day-old premature baby Jessica Thelusma rests in a bed made out of a cardboard box in the emergency room of General Hospital in Port-au-Prince on May 8. (Esteban Felix / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. A Spanish army soldier jokes with a Haitian child before departing on the Spanish ship Castilla in Petit Goave beach, Haiti on May 3. Some 150 Spanish soldiers are leaving Haiti after finishing their humanitarian mission. (Esteban Felix / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. A group of 250 Haitians, affected by the earthquake, arrive on 'humanitarian visas' to the port of Veracruz, Mexico, on April 25, aboard the Usumacinta ship. After a five day travel, the Haitians are hoping to meet their relatives who live in Mexico. (Saul Ramirez / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Children eat at an orphanage in Port-au-Prince on April 23. (Ramon Espinosa / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Sun breaks through the clouds over the destroyed National Palace at left and a tent camp for earthquake victims at right in Port-Au-Prince on April 17, four months after the quake. (Orlando Barria / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. The bodies of dead Haitian children are wrapped in the morgue of St. Damien Pediatric Hospital on April 14 in Port-au-Prince. The U.S. Congress approved a debt relief measure for Haiti in order to help the country recover from the January earthquake that took an estimated 230,000 lives. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. First Lady Michelle Obama dances with children during her visit to Port-au-Prince on April 13. Obama made an unannounced visit to disaster-stricken Haiti on Tuesday and said she was struck by the devastation inflicted by the Jan. 12 earthquake. (Eduardo Munoz / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Earthquake survivors unload food donated by World Food Program from helicopters in Leogane on April 12. (Felix Evens  / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. An aerial view of camps set up by earthquake survivors in Port-au-Prince on April 12. Haiti's government and foreign aid agencies started an operation on Saturday to move thousands of earthquake survivors to a safer refuge to avoid the risk of mudslides and flooding during the rainy season. (Felix Evens  / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. A woman argues with a Brazilian UN peacekeeper during food distribution at a camp in Port-au-Prince on April 12. The 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti on Jan. 12 left more than a million people homeless. (Ramon Espinosa / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. A Haitian woman, who lost her leg in the devastating earthquake, practices walking at Albert Schweizer hospital in Deschapelles, Haiti on April 10. (Andres Martinez Casares / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. People left homeless by the earthquake are processed to be evacuated from the Petionville golf club in a suburb of Port-au-Prince where they had set up a makeshift camp. The UN began moving 8,000 Haitians out of the camp to a new site. (Thony Belizaire / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. A man relocated from the Petionville Club camp, washes outside a tent near the Port-Au-Prince area of Corail Cesseisse on April 10. Residents of the Petionville Club camp are being relocated to a new camp at Corail Cesselesse due to risks of flooding and landslides. (Lee Celano / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Honor guards stand at attention on April 9 as the Haitian flag is hoisted at Presidential Palace that was destroyed in the earthaquake. (Thony Belizaire / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. A man lies down after being arrested while a police officer points a weapon during a gang operation in Port-au-Prince, on April 8. Haitian authorities are trying to take control of Port-au-Prince's slums from heavily armed gangs. (Ramon Espinosa / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Students stand in line during gym class in the courtyard of Ecole Frere Andre in the Champs des Mars area of Port-au-Prince on April 6. Some schools reopened in the wrecked Haitian capital, nearly three months after the earthquake. (Sophia Paris / United Nations via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Workers set up the Sacred Heart of Turgeau school in Unicef tents in Port-au-Prince on April 6. (Ramon Espinosa / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. School girls pray before class at the Sacred Heart of Turgeau school set up in Unicef tents in Port-au-Prince on April 6. (Ramon Espinosa / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Workers rebuild the destroyed College St. Jean l'Evangeliste in Port-au-Prince on April 5. (Thony Belizaire / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. A student and a teacher speak during a class at the Ecole Mixte Jericho School, in the Cite Soleil slum of Port-au-Prince on April 5. (Jorge Saenz / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. People cross the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic at the border in Mal Pass, Haiti on April 1. (Jorge Saenz / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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msnbc.com and NBC News
updated 1/12/2010 11:55:23 PM ET 2010-01-13T04:55:23

At least two Americans, one of them a young aid worker related to a retired senior U.S. naval officer, are believed to be among those trapped in wreckage after Haiti's earthquake.

The executive director of Haitian Ministries for the Diocese of Norwich, Conn., Emily Smack, says she believes two of the organization's staff are trapped in their mission house. The house partially collapsed during the earthquake Tuesday.

Smack identified the staffers as the mission's acting director, Jillian Thorp, and a management consultant, Charles Dietsch, who has been working with the ministry.

Thorp is the daughter-in-law of retired Rear Adm. Frank Thorp, who retired in August as the Navy's chief information officer.

Contacted at his home Tuesday night, Frank Thorp said he had been told that his 24-year-old daughter-in-law had tried to call for help using her cell phone and that her leg was badly injured.

He said Jillian had been living in Haiti since August when she took the lead at the mission house, which works with orphans and children with HIV. Before moving there, Jillian had traveled to Haiti several times with her family to participate in humanitarian work, he said.

"She's a superstar," he said of Jillian's devotion to aid work.

Felt in Cuba
The powerful quake was felt in southeastern Cuba, about 160 miles from the epicenter. Cuban authorities evacuated coastal residents because of the initial tsunami threat.

"I was seated on the terrace and I thought my chair had slid out from under me but I realized it was an earthquake," said Eduardo Machin, a resident of the coastal city of Santiago de Cuba. "It was very strong."

Yaumara Barrier, 28, a dock worker in Santiago, told NBC News that the “ground shook for a minute or more.”

Sailors at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay in eastern Cuba felt the quake but there was no damage to the base or the detention camp where the United States holds 198 foreign terrorism suspects, said Chief Petty Officer Bill Mesta.

‘A real killer’
USGS geophysicist Kristin Marano called it the strongest earthquake since 1770 in what is now Haiti. In 1946, a magnitude-8.1 quake struck the Dominican Republic and also shook Haiti, producing a tsunami that killed 1,790 people.

The temblor appeared to have occurred along a strike-slip fault, where one side of a vertical fault slips horizontally past the other, said earthquake expert Tom Jordan at the University of Southern California. The earthquake's size and proximity to populated Port-au-Prince likely caused widespread casualties and structural damage, he said.

"It's going to be a real killer," he said.

Musician's plea
Haitian musician Wyclef Jean urged his fans to donate to earthquake relief efforts, saying he had received text messages from his homeland reporting that many people had died.

"We must think ahead for the aftershock, the people will need food, medicine, shelter, etc.," Jean said on his Web site.

‘White cloud of smoke’
Marie Michel, a nurse from New York, was in Montagne Noir, a mountain suburb south of Port-au-Prince, for a funeral.

“I heard a rumble, and then the house started to shake — a 5,000-square-foot solid house shook like a leaf,” Michel told NBC News. “I can’t imagine what other people felt.”

“From where I’m standing, it looks like smoke, like a white cloud of smoke, and I’m thinking it’s maybe the dust from buildings collapsing — from shanty houses collapsing. ...”

This article includes reporting from NBC News, The Associated Press and Reuters.

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