UN says 300 000 homeless after Haiti quake

2010-01-15 13:11

An estimated 300 000 people have been left homeless by the

devastating earthquake in Haiti, with one in 10 homes in the capital

Port-au-Prince, the United Nations said on Friday.

A helicopter assessment by the UN mission in Haiti found that some

areas suffered “50% destruction.”

“First estimates suggest some 10% of the housing in Port-au-Prince

has been destroyed, which roughly translates to about 300 000 people left

homeless,” said Elisabeth Byrs, spokesperson of the UN Office for the

Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

An OCHA in a situation report said some 3.5 million people live in

areas hit by “strong shaking” from the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that flattened

much of Haitian capital Port-au-Prince this week.

“The estimated population of Port-au-Prince is 2.8 million, with

some 3.5 million people living in areas affected by strong shaking from the

earthquake,” it said.

Besides Port-au-Prince, Jacmel – an area south of the capital and

Carrefour – a suburb close to the capital, are also affected, according to the

aerial assessment carried out by the UN.

The agency stressed that search and rescue assistance remains the

top priority, while food, clean water and sanitation are also critical.

“Needs are expected to increase in the short term as assessments

take place,” it said, noting that casualty numbers are increasing at hospital

and clinics.

OCHA said a first flash appeal is due to be launched for Haiti on

Friday, but so far, the international community has already pledged $268.5

million (about R2 billion) in aid for victims of the devastating


The initial funding support came from some 20 countries,

organisations and companies.

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