U.N. building seriously damaged, personnel missing

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UNITED NATIONS, Jan 12 (Reuters) - The headquarters of the U.N. mission in Haiti was seriously damaged by a powerful earthquake that shook the capital Port-au-Prince on Tuesday and many staff are missing, the United Nations 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 UN installations," the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain le Roy said in a statement issued in New York.

"For the moment, a large number of personnel remain unaccounted for," he said.

He said officials in Haiti were still trying to gather information on the effects of the quake, which caused chaos across the capital of the impoverished country just before nightfall, collapsing buildings and cutting power in the city.

The U.N. stabilization force, which numbers about 9,000 troops and police, was sent in to try to bring order to the country that has been wracked by violence for years. (Reporting by Patrick Worsnip; writing by David Storey, Editing by Philip Barbara)

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