World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Haiti: UN Helps Rescue Efforts In School Collapse

Senior UN official expresses sadness for deaths in school collapse in Haiti

10 November 2008 – The top United Nations humanitarian official today expressed his “heartfelt condolences” to those affected by the school building that collapsed in Haiti last week, as local authorities reported at least 89 people have died and 150 have been sent to hospital.

Search and rescue efforts, involving personnel from the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), have been underway since early Friday when the upper storey of La Promesse school collapsed during morning classes, crushing all of the classrooms on the ground level.

The Government estimated that some 260 children and teachers were in the building, which holds students from kindergarten to high school, at the time of the collapse.

“This terrible catastrophe means more suffering and tragedy for some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world, already struggling to recover from years of war, poverty and successive natural disasters,” said the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, John Holmes.

Concerned and anxious crowds gathered almost immediately around the school, which is perched on a hillside in Pétionville, blocking access to the site for the rescue workers in the suburb of the outlying country’s capital, Port-au-Prince.

“Emergency rescue teams attempting to reach trapped people have been seriously impeded by the crowds who are sometime blocking the movement of heavy lifting equipment and medical supplies and preventing the evacuation of wounded people,” said Mr. Holmes, who is also the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator.

“I entirely understand people’s grief and desperation. But this only slows down rescue operations,” he added.

Mr. Holmes appealed for calm to allow emergency rescue workers and medical organizations to do their work. The emergency operation, conducted by Haitian, French and United States rescue teams, is expected to continue sifting through the debris until Tuesday.

“As long as there remains a chance to find survivors, one must hold back on using heavy equipment,” warned the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Haiti, Hédi Annabi.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


CNS: Will India's 1 Billion Vaccination-dose-milestone Be Catalytic For Vaccinating All?

On 21 October 2021, India crossed its milestone of administering over 1 billion (100 crores) doses within 278 days since it began the vaccination rollout (on 16th January 2021)... More>>

UN: UNHCR Chief Urges Better Support For 13 Million 'Exhausted' And Displaced Syrians
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has urged greater international support for the more than 13 million Syrians who’ve been displaced in the past 10 years...More>>


>UN: Recent Kosovo-Serbia Tensions Could ‘Unravel Steady But Fragile Progress’

Tensions over vehicle licence plates and anti-smuggling operations, between authorities in Kosovo and Serbia, in recent weeks, may contribute to unravelling “steady but fragile progress made in rebuilding trust among communities” in Kosovo and Serbia...
More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>


COP26: 7 Climate Action Highlights To Remember

A September to remember, a pivotal month for climate action commitments. From the United Nations General Assembly week to the final pre-COP meeting, last month was an important time to build momentum... More>>


UN: Global Leaders Set To Act To Increase Energy Access While Reducing Emissions At First UN Energy Summit In 40 Years

Significant new commitments for financing clean energy, increasing renewables and improving access to electricity are expected to be announced on 24 September at the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy... More>>