Quake-hit Haiti confirms death toll is 150.000 in capital

The confirmed death toll from Haiti's devastating earthquake has topped 150,000 in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area alone, the communications minister said.

Quake-hit Haiti confirms death toll is 150.000 in capital

The confirmed death toll from Haiti's devastating earthquake has topped 150,000 in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area alone, the communications minister said Sunday.

Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue said on Sunday that many thousands more people could be dead in the rest of the country, while the bodies of others have been burned by relatives or remain trapped under collapsed buildings.

The United Nations said Saturday the government had confirmed 111,481 bodies; all told, authorities have estimated 200,000 dead from the magnitude-7.0 quake, according to Haitian government figures cited by the European Commission.

Survivors camped out in filthy conditions in about 300 makeshift shelters across Haiti's shattered capital, Port-au-Prince. Some complained they were not getting enough aid 12 days after a massive earthquake hit the Caribbean country.

The January 12, magnitude-7 quake killed up to 200,000 people, Haitian authorities said, and left up to 3 million people hurt or homeless and pleading for medical assistance, food and water in nightmarish conditions in the Western Hemisphere's poorest country.

Although the United Nations had announced that Haiti's government had halted search-and-rescue operations, international rescue teams managed on Saturday to free a man trapped in the rubble of Port-au-Prince.

After a four-hour rescue operation, the Haitian man was carefully extracted from the ruins of the Hotel Napoli Inn, Reuters said.

He was the latest of more than 130 people who have been pulled alive from under wrecked buildings by rescue teams from around the world.

Food Aid

The World Food Program was forced to curtail some distribution activities after attacks on two of its relief convoys on Friday, said Thiry Benoit, the U.N. agency's deputy country director for Haiti.

A maternity hospital in the Petionville suburb put out an urgent plea for food on Saturday, saying it was overflowing with pregnant women and had nothing to feed them. Aid group Food for the Poor said it responded with a shipment of rice, beans and toaster pastries.

World Food Program officials estimated that some aid had reached more than two-thirds of the survivor camps.

Amid the devastation, there were indications Haiti was coming back to life. People waited outside banks that reopened on Saturday, eager to obtain cash to buy food and essential supplies.

Fruits and vegetables appeared plentiful in street stalls, but people said they had little cash to buy them and prices were much higher than before the quake.

The "Hope for Haiti Now" telethon held on Friday, led by actor George Clooney and Haiti-born rapper Wyclef Jean, raised more than $57 million for relief, organizers said.

Agencies
Last Mod: 25 Ocak 2010, 09:31
Add Comment