World

5 years after Haiti's quake, AP revisits sites devastated by the disaster

  • FILE - This combo of two photos shows a Jan. 19, 2010 file photo, top, of a U.S. Navy helicopter taking off outside the partially collapsed National Palace after the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne landed to provide security one week after a powerful earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and a photo taken of the same location five years later on Jan. 10, 2015 where a lone Haitian flag hangs from a flagpole. The Beaux Arts structure was removed in 2012 but its successor has not been built yet, after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck on the afternoon of Jan. 12, 2010. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, Dieu Nalio Chery, File)

    FILE - This combo of two photos shows a Jan. 19, 2010 file photo, top, of a U.S. Navy helicopter taking off outside the partially collapsed National Palace after the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne landed to provide security one week after a powerful earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and a photo taken of the same location five years later on Jan. 10, 2015 where a lone Haitian flag hangs from a flagpole. The Beaux Arts structure was removed in 2012 but its successor has not been built yet, after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck on the afternoon of Jan. 12, 2010. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, Dieu Nalio Chery, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This combo of two photos shows a Jan. 12, 2010 file photo, top, of the Twins Market the day it collapsed during a 7.0 earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and a photo taken from the same spot five years later, on Jan. 10, 2015, where only a metal fence stands. One of the worst natural disasters of modern times, the Jan. 12, 2010 quake killed an estimated 300,000 people, damaged or destroyed more than 300,000 buildings. (AP Photo/Cris Bierrenbach, Dieu Nalio Chery, File)

    FILE - This combo of two photos shows a Jan. 12, 2010 file photo, top, of the Twins Market the day it collapsed during a 7.0 earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and a photo taken from the same spot five years later, on Jan. 10, 2015, where only a metal fence stands. One of the worst natural disasters of modern times, the Jan. 12, 2010 quake killed an estimated 300,000 people, damaged or destroyed more than 300,000 buildings. (AP Photo/Cris Bierrenbach, Dieu Nalio Chery, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This combo of two photos shows a Jan. 12, 2010 file photo, top, of Marie La Jesula Joseph praying outside the Cathedral the day it was destroyed by a 7.0 earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and a photo taken five years later on Jan. 10, 2105, that shows the structure still in disrepair. Recovery has been uneven at best, plagued by poor planning and accusations of graft. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd, Dieu Nalio Chery, File)

    FILE - This combo of two photos shows a Jan. 12, 2010 file photo, top, of Marie La Jesula Joseph praying outside the Cathedral the day it was destroyed by a 7.0 earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and a photo taken five years later on Jan. 10, 2105, that shows the structure still in disrepair. Recovery has been uneven at best, plagued by poor planning and accusations of graft. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd, Dieu Nalio Chery, File)  (The Associated Press)

It's been five years since the ground shook violently in and around the overcrowded capital of Haiti, the Western Hemisphere's poorest country, raising a cloud of dust over the smashed city and outlying towns.

The devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck at 4:53 p.m. Jan. 12, 2010, killing some 316,000 people, according to Haiti's estimates. Some 1.5 million Haitians were left homeless and the country's government was obliterated. Desolate streets were filled with rubble and the piercing sounds of anguish.

Here's a selection of photographs that show Haiti then and now. Archive photos are juxtaposed with images taken around the capital of Port-au-Prince in recent days.

Today, some hard-hit sites in Port-au-Prince have changed dramatically and most lots are cleared of rubble. The historic Iron Market in downtown Port-au-Prince, leveled by the 2010 quake, has been replaced by a colorful new landmark with decorative minarets and a clock tower.

The pancaked National Palace, its collapsed domed roof a powerful image of a government in ruins, has since been demolished and its wreckage cleared from the grounds.

Some of the broken white walls of the once-towering National Cathedral still stand. The site has attracted a few destitute Haitians, still living in tarp shelters.

A trash-strewn market area in downtown Port-au-Prince still looks ramshackle five years later, though splintered power lines have since been carted away.

Some places have seen more progress than others but one thing is clear: Haiti still has a far ways to go before it can say it has finally "built back better," the goal repeatedly stated by reconstruction officials.