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Haiti: Death Toll From Storms Climbs To 1300

Haitian Death Toll From Tropical Storm Climbs Past 1,300 - UN Mission

At least 1,330 people are dead, another 1,056 are missing and the lives of nearly 300,000 others have been badly affected because of Tropical Storm Jeanne, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) reported today.

The death toll continues to climb as humanitarian agencies reach towns and villages in Haiti's north that were previously cut off because of the flooding and landslides that followed the tropical storm.

Most of the known casualty toll so far comes from Gonaïves, Haiti's third largest city, where as much as 80 per cent of the city was inundated immediately after the storm passed.

But the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that in the town of Ennery more than 100 people have been killed and 150 houses have been destroyed.

OCHA reported that shelter materials, beds, sheets, tools and fuel are urgently needed to help repair homes and other buildings across the battered north. The risk of water-borne diseases is also said to be high.

MINUSTAH troops have been used to protect aid agencies in the distribution of food and water purification tablets because of the threat of looting, while in some cases the troops have been doing the distribution themselves.

In other humanitarian developments:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has handed out enough basic medicines, food and household materials to last 10,000 people for three months, while many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are delivering clean water by tanker truck.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is spending $400,000 to provide emergency supplies of seeds, fertilizer and tools to help farmers resume work as soon as is practical, part of a brace of projects around the world to help communities recover in the wake of natural disasters.
  • UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Carol Bellamy will visit Gonaïves on Wednesday to inspect relief efforts.
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