Haiti premier says 212 000 dead

2010-02-05 09:53

THE death toll from Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake last month has

reached 212 000, while the number of homeless may be far higher than the one

million estimated by authorities, the prime minister said yesterday.

“We have over 200 000 (dead). The last number I received from my

services was 212 000 people that were collected on the streets and different

places,” Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive told CNN from Haiti’s devastated

capital Port-au-Prince.

Bellerive said the toll, already the highest on record from any

natural disaster in the Americas, was likely to rise “a little bit” higher as

recovery crews pull bodies from locations where demolition had been delayed

while rescue teams searched for survivors.

He also said more than 300 000 people had been injured in the

disaster, and that most of them had received medical attention, he told the US

cable network yesterday.

On Wednesday, Bellerive told AFP that the death toll had topped 200

000.

Authorities had said about one million people were made homeless

when the 7.0-magnitude quake struck the impoverished Caribbean nation early last

month, out of a national population of roughly nine million.

“But you have to add to that number the people that before the

events of January were already homeless and that are regrouping with the people

that are new on this,” Bellerive told the US cable network.

“So you should have around two million people on the streets right

now,” he added.

Aid groups have set up several refugee camps in and around

Port-au-Prince, and the government has announced plans to relocate hundreds of

thousands of Haitians out of the makeshift camps into new temporary shelters

outside the capital.


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