Sunday, January 24, 2010

Haiti capital earthquake death toll 'tops 150,000'

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - JANUARY 20:  In this h...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

The UN says more than 130,000 people have now been relocated out of Port-au-Prince by the authorities, easing the pressure on overcrowded camps in the city. Others have left independently.

With the search-and-rescue phase officially over, international groups are focused on humanitarian efforts, with aid workers still struggling to get food, water and other supplies to all those in need.

"The aid we have available... is being pushed out," Lt Gen Ken Keen, commander of the US military operation in Haiti, told Reuters news agency.

"But the need is tremendous. Every day is a better day than yesterday. Tomorrow will be a better day than the day before."
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Haiti capital earthquake death toll 'tops 150,000'

Women pray during an open-air service in Port-au-Prince, 24 Jan
The confirmed death toll from Haiti's devastating earthquake has risen above 150,000 in the Port-au-Prince area alone, a government minister has said.

Many more remain uncounted under rubble in the capital and elsewhere, including the towns of Jacmel and Leogane.

The search for survivors has officially ended and the focus has shifted to aid.

Rescued man Wismond Exantus Enso in hospital

But a 24-year-old man was pulled alive from the remains of a hotel in the capital on Saturday after 11 days under the rubble, in what rescuers described as "a miracle".

He later told reporters that soft drinks and snacks had kept him going. A French medic said he could expect to leave hospital within a day or two.

"Nobody knows how many bodies are buried in the rubble - 200,000, 300,000? Who knows the overall death toll?" the Associated Press quotes her as saying on Sunday.

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