William Booth, Dana Hedgpeth and Debbi Wilgoren
Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI — A massive aftershock jolted awake thousands of earthquake victims and relief workers in this ravaged capital early Wednesday, sparking new cries of fear and sorrow even as an enormous international aid effort continued to build.
The Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort drew near to Port-au-Prince Wednesday morning and received its first patients from the earthquake zone via helicopter, the Pentagon said. On Tuesday, hundreds of U.S. troops surged into the epicenter of the quake area to guard convoys and food distribution sites, while thousands more stationed themselves on ships and helicopters offshore to bolster relief and recovery efforts.
Many in the area were startled out of sleep just after 6 a.m. Wednesday by a tremor that measured 6.1 on the Richter scale — one of the strongest aftershocks since the 7.0-magnitude quake crippled this city eight days ago.
Shrieks rose from the streets of Port-au-Prince as the quake — apparently the first of any great significance in at least four days — hit with a rolling, side-to-side motion that lasted several seconds. Less than 30 seconds later, a cascading roar could be heard across the city — presumably the collapse of another building. Another cry went up toward the skies.
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This article was posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 10:00 am