United Nations: The headquarters of the UN peacekeeping Mission in Haiti sustained "serious damage" in Tuesday`s earthquake and a large number of UN personnel in Haiti are unaccounted for, the U.N. peacekeeping chief said late Tuesday.
Alain Le Roy in New York said other U.N. installations in the Caribbean nation were also seriously damaged.
"Contacts with the U.N. on the ground have been severely hampered as communications networks in Haiti have been disabled by the earthquake," Le Roy said in a statement. He said the U.N. Peacekeeping Department is still in the process of gathering information on the extent of the damage and the status of U.N. personnel following the "catastrophic earthquake."
"For the moment, a large number of personnel remain unaccounted for," he said.
"The United Nations can confirm that the headquarters of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) in Port au Prince has sustained serious damage along with other U.N. installations."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement, "My heart goes out to the people of Haiti after this devastating earthquake. At this time of tragedy, I am very concerned for the people of Haiti and also for the many United Nations staff who serve there. I am receiving initial reports and following developments closely."
The United Nations has a 9,000-strong peacekeeping force in Haiti, which has been there since a rebellion in 2004. The force has been credited with helping to curb violence and crime in the Western hemisphere.
Presidential palace damaged
Haiti’s presidential palace and numerous other government buildings in the country`s capital Port-au-Prince collapsed on Tuesday after it was hit by a massive 7.0 earthquake.
Communications to the island, the most impoverished in the western hemisphere, were cut in the wake of the massive earthquake, which produced several aftershocks and prompted a tsunami warning.