Haiti search-and-rescue called off as quake toll tops 110,000

The Haitian government declared search-and-rescue operations over as More than 110,000 people were confirmed killed in the earthquake.

Haiti search-and-rescue called off as quake toll tops 110,000

The Haitian government declared search-and-rescue operations over on Friday, according to the U.N. humanitarian office, which said 132 quake survivors were found alive.

But on the same day, rescuers pulled two people barely alive from collapsed buildings in Port-au-Prince.

An 84-year-old woman was rescued by her freiends from under a wrecked building and evacuated by boat by the U.S. Army, the doctor who treated her said.

"They pulled her out early this morning. She was barely responding, she had wounds all over her body, and maggots," said Dr. Vladimir Larouche, a Haitian-American doctor from New York, working at Port-au-Prince General Hospital.

Elsewhere in the shattered capital, a 22-year-old man was freed from the rubble.

"Deadliest quake"

More than 110,000 people were confirmed killed in the Haiti earthquake, the interior ministry said making it the deadliest quake on record in the Americas.

The ministry put the toll from the disastrous January 12 quake at 111,499. The government had previously said that at least 75,000 people were killed.



The statement said that 193,891 people were injured in the 7.0-magnitude quake that hit the capital Port-au-Prince.

More than 609,000 people were currently living in 500 temporary camps, it said, updating a previous figure of 500,000 homeless.

Haitian officials have expressed fear that the death toll from the country's worst earthquake in over a century may surpass 200,000.

"Delivering aid still problem"

The 7.0-magnitude quake killed an estimated 200,000 people, according to Haitian government figures cited by the European Commission. Countless dead remained buried in thousands of collapsed and toppled buildings in Port-au-Prince, while as many as 200,000 have fled the city of 2 million, the U.S. Agency for International Development reported.

About 609,000 people are homeless in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area, and the United Nations estimates that up to 1 million people could leave Haiti's destroyed cities for rural areas already struggling with extreme poverty.

Relief agencies estimated one-third of Haiti's 9 million people would need emergency food, water and shelter for an extended period.

"We can do this 24 hours a day for the next six months and we still won't meet the need," said First Sergeant Rob Farnsworth, part of a U.S. Army airborne unit handing out food packs at a squalid camp where survivors lived in the open air.

Dozens of celebrities raised money in the "Hope for Haiti Now" telethon which appeared on major U.S. networks and cable channels on Friday night. The benefit was organized by actor George Clooney.

Edmond Mulet, acting head of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti, said coordination in delivering aid was improving. But Henriette Chamouillet, the World Health Organization representative in Haiti, said it remained a problem.

She said the Haitian prime minister complained at a meeting with aid workers that only 10 percent of the population in makeshift camps had received any food aid while some camps had received three times the amount of food they needed.

Nearly 1,000 hungry people swarmed a U.S. military truck as an 82nd Airborne company known as "the Beast" handed out food and water at an encampment on a soccer field. Overwhelmed, the troops pulled out after distributing 600 packaged meals, leaving 250 food packs still on the truck.

Amid the grief, there were indications the poor Caribbean country was coming back to life. Banks were scheduled to reopen on Saturday and money transfer agencies did brisk business after opening on Friday.

"I want to get some cash sent by my family from Canada. It's $500 but it's difficult. There are so many people," said businessman Aslyn Denis, 31, who waited in line with hundreds of people, some of them jostling.


Agencies

Last Mod: 23 Ocak 2010, 15:04
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