The Red Cross federation estimated 45,000 to 50,000 people died as a result of the earthquake that struck Haiti on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.

According to the Red Cross, 3 million more were hurt or left without home by the major quake, Reuters reported today.

The death toll released by the Red Cross was estimated based on information from a wide network of volunteers across Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince, Jean-Luc Martinage, a Red Cross spokesman told the news agency Thursday.

A final death count is expected to be released by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cross Societies, Martinage added.

International aid continued to be sent to Haiti on Thursday, nearly two days after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the island. Haiti's international airport had been closed since the quake struck but it began to operate on Wednesday.  

Reporters at Haiti's capital have described scenes of devastation and desperation on the streets.

The earthquake destroyed Haiti's presidential palace, a cathedral, the main hospital and the building that hosted the headquarters of the United Nations, among many other constructions.