(Reuters) - Tens of thousands of people were feared dead and many were believed to be trapped alive after a 7.0 magnitude quake hit Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince on Tuesday.
Here is a timeline of events in Haiti in the past 20 years:
February 7, 1986 - Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier is forced into exile by an uprising, ending a 29-year family dictatorship. His father Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier seized power in 1957 and held it until his death in 1971. Army chief Lieutenant General Henri Namphy is appointed to oversee a two-year transition to democracy.
December 16, 1990 - Populist priest Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide is the landslide winner of a presidential election, Haiti’s first free and peaceful polls.
September 30, 1991 - Aristide is overthrown by the military.
September 1994 - Thousands of U.S. troops arrive to restore democracy. Aristide returns on October 15.
December 17, 1995 - Former Prime Minister Rene Preval, from Aristide’s Lavalas party, is elected president.
November 25, 2000 - Aristide wins another presidential election, this one boycotted by main opposition parties.
February 29, 2004 - Aristide leaves Haiti amid a rebellion. U.S. Marines land to restore order, later replaced by Brazilian-led U.N. peacekeepers.
March 9, 2004 - Gerard Latortue, a former U.N. bureaucrat, is appointed interim prime minister.
May 24, 2004 - Severe floods swamp entire villages in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. At least 2,600 people are dead or missing.
September 19, 2004 - Floods in the wake of tropical storm Jeanne kill more than 3,000 people, mostly in the city of Gonaives.
February 16, 2006 - Preval is declared the winner of the February 7 presidential election after an internationally brokered deal over disputed results.
April 12, 2008 - Lawmakers dismiss Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis after two weeks of riots and demonstrations over escalating food prices in which six people were killed.
August/September 2008 - Four tropical storms and hurricanes batter Haiti -- Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike -- killing more than 800 people and making nearly 1 million homeless or in need of help.
September 5, 2008 - Michele Pierre-Louis belatedly takes office as prime minister with a new government.
November 7, 2008 - At least 95 people are killed when the three-storey La Promesse school collapses on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. Authorities blame shoddy construction. A second school collapses five days later, injuring nine people.
May 19, 2009 - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is appointed U.N. special envoy for Haiti.
November 7, 2009 - Jean-Max Bellerive is confirmed as new prime minister succeeding Michele Pierre-Louis, who was dismissed by the Senate on October 30 for allegedly failing to improve the country’s economy.
January 12, 2010 - A catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes Port-au-Prince, killing thousands of people and devastating the capital.
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