Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Glance at Haiti Developments 16 Days After Quake

A glance at developments Thursday in Haiti 16 days after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake devastated the capital, Port-au-Prince, and left an estimated 200,000 dead throughout the country:


Hundreds of thousands of people remain in need of food and shelter, the United Nations says.

The U.N. World Food Program says it has delivered more than 4 million rations, equivalent to more than 13 million meals, to some 500,000 people. But it projects that 2 million Haitians need food aid. Thousands of stoves also are required to switch from ready-to-eat meals to rice and beans.

An estimated 200,000 family-size tents are needed as temporary shelter for the homeless, international agencies say, but only a fraction of that number are in Haiti or on their way.


Many thousands of Haitians who have undergone amputations or other surgeries are in critical need of postoperative care, international health agencies say.

Medical teams are reporting a growing caseload of diarrhea among survivors, and cases of tetanus and suspected cases of measles in Leogane, west of Port-au-Prince. The aid group Doctors Without Borders says the psychological impact of Haiti's earthquake on its victims is becoming more apparent.


U.S. troops created three small artificial beaches in Port-au-Prince's harbor to begin offloading containers from commercial ships to help expedite the aid flow. The U.S. military expects to expand that capacity to 500 containers a day next week, from the current 200 containers.

At the same time, the military said an aftershock Wednesday appears to have further damaged one of the piers in Port-au-Prince's regular civilian port, foreclosing the possibility of putting it back in service.


About 200 people attended an emotional memorial service for the 61 United Nations staff members -- including Haiti mission chief Hedi Annabi -- who were killed in the quake when the U.N. mission headquarters collapsed in Port-au-Prince. A total of 179 U.N. employees remain unaccounted for.


The U.S. Army has begun clearing rubble from downtown Port-au-Prince, where perhaps 90 percent of the buildings were destroyed or damaged by the quake.

France has offered to rebuild Haiti's historic National Palace, Radio Metropole reported.

Source: NY Times

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