Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) - Their clothes tattered and caked in dirt, their backs sore from clawing through concrete and debris, residents in earthquake-flattened Port-au-Prince waited Thursday for signs that help is on its way.
They slept out in the open on mattresses and cardboard boxes. Those whose homes hadn't been reduced to rubble refused to go inside, fearing aftershocks that could send the structures tumbling.
Some sang and clapped to keep their spirits up. Others wailed. The sounds of gunshots sometimes pierced the air.
"Hundreds of people are all hunkered down for the night, passing time and burning tires to light up the night," Gwenn Goodale Mangin said in the city of Jacmel.
The city - like Port-au-Prince, the capital 25 miles (40 kilometers) away, and other communities in the impoverished island-nation - has been without power and water since Tuesday's devastating 7.0-magnitude quake.
The quake affected roughly one in three Haitians - about 3 million people, the Red Cross estimated. It was so strong that it was felt in Cuba, more than 200 miles away.
"I watched as house after house just pancaked down, right in front of my eyes," said Bob Poff of the Salvation Army, who was driving a pickup down a mountain, into Port-au-Prince, at the time.
Felix Augustin, the Haitian consul general to the United Nations, said more than 10,000 were dead, but President Rene Preval said it was too early to put a number to the casualties.
Government officials feared the death toll might eventually run into the six figures
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