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Haiti's Death Toll From Tropical Storm Hits 1000

Haiti's Death Toll From Tropical Storm Hits 1,000 And Keeps Rising: UN Agencies

The death toll in Haiti from Tropical Storm Jeanne has passed 1,000 already, United Nations humanitarian agencies said today, adding it could rise even more dramatically because some areas of the beleaguered city of Gonaïves are still inaccessible because of flood waters.

Haitian authorities have recorded 1,013 deaths so far and have another 1,200 people listed as missing, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement.

UN agencies began distributing food and clean water yesterday at three locations, including 40 tons of food to about 20,000 people. More relief supplies are being sent to the country's north.

OCHA said it is monitoring security closely as the situation around distribution points is tense, but added there have been no reports of violence so far.

Gonaïves, a city of about 100,000 inhabitants, remains the focus of relief efforts. At least two areas of the city remain under water and there is still no electricity or functioning landline telephones.

The International Committee of the Red Cross/Red Crescent (ICRC), which has begun listing the dead and missing and arranging reunions of separated family members, has reported that many children, either orphaned or abandoned, are wandering alone around Gonaïves.

OCHA reported that while the health situation appears to be under control, the risk of epidemics remains. The UN World Health Organization (WHO) delivered 10,000 basic health kits today.

Doctors and other medical officials from the Argentinean contingent of peacekeepers from the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Cuba, the non-governmental organizations Médecins Sans Frontières and Médecins Du Monde and Haiti's Health Ministry are also contributing to the relief effort.

Tropical Storm Jeanne, which struck Haiti and the neighbouring Dominican Republic last weekend, is the latest in a series of deadly hurricanes and tropical storms to strike the Caribbean region this season.

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