Haiti Pummelled by Powerful New Quake

PORT-AU-PRINCE ~ A large new earthquake rumbled across the ruins of Haiti on Wednesday, sending thousands of already traumatised survivors running through the streets, screaming in terror.

The biggest aftershock yet struck as dawn broke eight days after the Haitian capital was levelled by a massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake that killed at least 75,000 people and left a million homeless.

“God wants to destroy all Haitians because they are bad, because they are cursed,” Eleude Joseph, a shellshocked mother of two, said at a squalid camp of 6,000 survivors in the Place Saint-Pierre.

There were no reports of anyone being killed or wounded by the 6.1 aftershock, but some severely damaged buildings did come tumbling down, including the last surviving wall of the main cathedral.

Rescuers kept up their grim search through the rubble, elated by finding survivors who had defied the odds, including an 11-year-old girl and a five-year-old boy on Wednesday.

Lying on a bed in the corridor of a French clinic, bone-thin after days without food and haunted by her nightmarish ordeal, the unnamed girl cried: “Mama is not in the hole; don’t leave me Mama.”

Other survivors dug out included a woman, 25, found in the ruins of a supermarket, a 70-year-old woman who sang as she left behind the wreckage of the Port-au-Prince cathedral and a 23-day-old baby girl.

But rescue efforts are likely to start being pulled back as a massive aid operation swings into gear to help hundreds of thousands trying to survive with little water in putrid makeshift camps where diarrhea was already rife.

The United States poured in 4,000 more troops, who had been due to deploy to the Middle East and Europe, while a US general said the capital’s main port – vital to moving in tonnes of aid – should be up and running again on Friday.

Backed by three amphibious ships and a squadron of helicopters, the new troops should be in place by the weekend as the total US force helping out in Haiti swells above 15,000 in coming days.

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