HAITI:Death toll climbs from last weekend’s earthquake

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BROOKLYN, NY– The Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) calls on citizens to donate blood as the death toll from last Saturday’s powerful 7.2 earthquakes climbed to 1,941, and nearly 10,000 others were injured.

The authorities said that many other persons are missing, and rescue workers said there is the possibility of the death toll increasing as they resume their operations following the passage of tropical depression Grace on Tuesday.

“Countless Haitian families who have lost everything due to the earthquake are now living literally with their feet in the water due to the flooding,” said Bruno Maes, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative in the country.

“Right now, about half a million Haitian children have limited or no access to shelter, safe water, healthcare, and nutrition.”

The Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), which coordinates the region’s response to the disaster, said in its latest bulletin that more than 75,000 affected families have already registered in the three most affected departments.

“There is a persistent water problem in Pestel. Nearly 1,810 tanks were cracked or crushed in the town. Water needs, both for drinking and other uses, are urgent,” it said.

The southwest of Haiti appears to have suffered the worst of the damage from the quake, especially around the city of Les Cayes, with few structures standing.

“Many buildings were destroyed or damaged, and many houses have cracked walls. The departments most affected are the South, Nippes, and Grand’Anse,” said CDEMA.

The quake, which was felt in Cuba and Jamaica, was followed by a string of aftershocks. CDEMA said that it “recognizes the multi-hazard environment in which this earthquake impact has occurred and will continue to monitor the situation and is ready to provide support where requested.”

The U.S. Coast Guard has been flying critically injured patients to Port-au-Prince for higher levels of care. More than 60 urban search-and-rescue team members from the U.S. have arrived, and the U.S. military has sent helicopters, officials said.

CDEMA reported that Civil Protection officers and Brigadiers had been deployed in the field while specialized teams conduct search and rescue operations at the level of the most affected departments.

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