Saturday, January 23, 2010

Haiti Body Count Rises, as Government Calls Off Search and Rescue

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Eleven days after the earthquake, officials in Haiti are beginning to get a more specific count of how many lives were lost.

The U.N. says the government has confirmed more than 111,000 bodies. But that's just a preliminary count and does not include those buried by relatives. The government is estimating the total death toll at about 200,000 people.

Countless dead remain buried in the thousands of collapsed buildings in Port-au-Prince.

The U.N. says international rescue teams have pulled more than 130 people alive from the wreckage since the quake struck. But it says, barring miracles, there aren't likely to be more. Haiti's government has declared the search and rescue phase over.

Some 49 international search teams remain in the country, and one mother says it's too soon to give up. She says she heard the cries of her three children for two days after the quake. A senior officer on an Israeli team says most reports of voices in the debris turn out to be false.

The U.N. says relief workers are now focusing on providing shelter and medical treatment, especially with the rainy season on the way and more than 600,000 homeless in the capital area.

Source: WLOS

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