The Haitian government held a low-key ceremony yesterday to mark the third anniversary of the earthquake that devastated the country and killed 316,000 people.

President Michel Martelly presided over the memorial event in the grounds of the former National Palace, which was destroyed in the disaster and later demolished.

Senior government officials and diplomats also attended.

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Martelly said he hoped the poor Caribbean nation's people would use the anniversary of the disaster as a chance to think about how they can improve their lives.