Terremoto en Haití deja más de 2.200 muertos

Un informe de Protección Civil publicado este domingo destacó que se encontraron nuevos cuerpos en el sur del país, por lo que el balance se eleva ya a 2.207 muertos, 344 desaparecidos y 12.268 heridos

Puerto Príncipe.- El número de muertos que dejó en Haití el terremoto del 14 de agosto aumentó a 2.207, anunciaron el domingo las autoridades del país caribeño, donde la ayuda llega lentamente a las zonas afectadas debido a la violencia de las pandillas.

“Se han encontrado nuevos cuerpos en el sur. El balance humano de los tres departamentos se eleva ya a 2.207 muertos, 344 desaparecidos y 12.268 heridos”, señala el informe de Protección Civil publicado el domingo, informó AFP.

El recuento anterior era de 2.189 muertos.

Ocho días después de la catástrofe, continúan las operaciones de búsqueda entre los escombros, pero la posibilidad de encontrar supervivientes disminuye cada hora.

Cerca de 600.000 personas se han visto directamente afectadas por el terremoto de 7,2 grados y necesitan ayuda humanitaria urgente, según las autoridades haitianas.

Llevar alimentos y agua a los afectados es un reto logístico ante los ataques a los convoys de carretera por parte de delincuentes.

“Tenemos un problema de seguridad que es cada vez más evidente”, dijo a la AFP Jerry Chandler, director de Protección Civil de Haití.

Desde principios de junio, es imposible transitar con seguridad el tramo de dos kilómetros de la carretera nacional que atraviesa la zona de Martissant, un barrio pobre de Puerto Príncipe, la capital haitiana, y campo de batalla de pandillas.

Dado que la destrucción y los daños son especialmente graves en las zonas rurales remotas, las autoridades haitianas se centran en el reparto de la ayuda humanitaria por vía aérea, a través de un helicóptero de la ONU y ocho aviones proporcionados por el ejército estadounidense. AFP

Gangs offer aid as Haiti earthquake death toll crosses 2,200

The earthquake last week left more than 12,000 people injured and destroyed more than 52,000 homes.

The death toll from last week’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti has climbed to 2,207, with 344 people missing, according to the country’s civil defence agency.

The death toll increases at a time when relief operations are expanding, and authorities are struggling with security at distribution points. Gangs have hijacked aid trucks and even ambulances, forcing relief workers to transport supplies by helicopter.

Recovery efforts have also been impeded by flooding and damage to access roads, feeding tensions in some of the hardest-hit areas. In places, desperate crowds have scuffled over bags of food.

On Sunday, one of the capital’s most notorious gangsters announced in a social media video that his allied gangs had reached a truce and would assist in relief efforts. If that proves to be true, it might allow an acceleration of relief efforts.

Jimmy Cherizier, alias “Barbecue”, leader of G9 Revolutionary Forces, addressed a Facebook video to the hardest-hit parts of Haiti’s southwestern peninsula.

“We want to tell them that the G9 Revolutionary Forces and allies, all for one and one for all, sympathise with their pain and sorrows,” Cherizier said. “The Revolutionary Forces G9 and allies … will participate in the relief by bringing them help. We invite all compatriots to show solidarity with the victims by trying to share what little there is with them.”

The increase in the death toll was the first since late Wednesday when the government put it at 2,189. The government said on Sunday that 344 people were still missing, 12,268 people were injured and nearly 53,000 houses were destroyed by the earthquake.

The collapse of churches in some of the worst-affected towns and villages of the impoverished Caribbean nation left residents to grieve in open fields.

In the hard-hit city of Les Cayes, meanwhile, some attended outdoor church services on Sunday because sanctuaries had been badly damaged by the earthquake, which was centred on the impoverished nation’s southwestern peninsula.

About 200 worshippers gathered early at the Paroisse Saint-Joseph De Simon Roman Catholic Church on the outskirts of the city for the first Sunday mass since the disaster.

“Everyone was crying today for what they had lost,” said the priest, Marc Orel Sael. “And everyone is stressed because the earth is still shaking,” he added, referring to near-daily aftershocks that have rattled nerves all week.

Aid delivery and rescue teams have been pouring into the country. The USS Arlington arrived from the United States on the weekend, with doctors, nurses, medical devices, two helicopters and 200 Marines.

Additionally, US aid organisation Samaritan’s Purse opened a field hospital in Les Cayes, one of the big cities in the worst-hit area, and took in its first patients.

German aid organisation ISAR Germany has also sent a team of 33 doctors, nurses and orderlies, along with 11 tonnes of material.
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