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Earthquake in Haiti: the human toll increases, humanitarian aid struggles to circulate


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More than 2,200 people died in the earthquake that struck Haiti on August 14, the country’s authorities said on Sunday. The search continues to find the 344 missing, while humanitarian aid is reaching the victims with difficulty.

The toll of the earthquake that devastated Haiti on August 14 was increased with the announcement by the authorities on Sunday August 22 of the death of at least 2,207 people in the southwest of the Caribbean country where aid slowly reaches the victims.

“New bodies have been found in the south. The human toll for the three departments has now risen to 2,207 dead, 344 missing and 12,268 injured,” said the civil protection report published on Sunday. The previous count showed 2,189 dead victims.

Eight days after the disaster, search operations continue in the rubble, but the possibility of finding survivors is dwindling hour by hour.

Nearly 600,000 people were directly affected by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake and need urgent humanitarian assistance, the Haitian authorities say.

Humanitarian aid convoys attacked

Bringing food and water to the victims is a logistical challenge in the face of attacks on road convoys by unidentified individuals.

“We have a security problem that is becoming more and more glaring,” Jerry Chandler, director of Haitian civil protection, told AFP.

>> Read also: After the deadly earthquake in Haiti, the storm strikes and floods threaten

Since the beginning of June, any safe traffic was impossible on the two kilometers of the national road which crosses the zone of Martissant, poor district of Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, and ground of clashes between gangs.

“We are literally facing a basic banditry problem so we are working hard with the police who are going to reinforce their forces in the south,” added Jerry Chandler.

The preferred air route for delivering humanitarian aid

The destruction and damage being particularly significant in isolated rural areas, the Haitian authorities now favor the delivery of humanitarian aid by air, via a United Nations helicopter and the eight devices made available by the American army.

Widely destroyed by the earthquake, the commune of Les Cayes, Haiti’s third largest city, was the scene of informal distributions of humanitarian aid on Friday, which, organized by inexperienced individuals, noted an AFP photographer.

“We don’t want to discourage the Good Samaritans,” replied Jerry Chandler.

“We recommend everyone to communicate with us so that we know what is being done and that we map the aid and also so that we can help and assist them.”

With AFP


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