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Haiti quake death toll rises to 230,000
Port-Au-Prince, Feb 10 (Agencies)
Published on 11 Feb. 2010 12:08 AM IST
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Haiti’s government says around 230,000 people died in last month’s earthquake, 18,000 more than its previous estimate. The toll from the 12 January quake is approaching that of the 2004 Asian tsunami, which killed 250,000 people. Communications Minister Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue said the toll was not definitive. About 300,000 were injured. The latest figure does not include bodies buried by private funeral homes in private cemeteries, or the dead buried by their own families. The one-month anniversary of the catastrophic quake is to be marked with prayer vigils and fasting. A BBC correspondent in the capital Port-au-Prince says there is increasing concern that with the rainy season approaching, the lack of tents and temporary shelter could lead to the outbreak of disease. In the biggest of the camps that sprung up in the city after the earthquake, people are still living under sheeting strung across wooden poles. Aid agency officials said there was a plan to get thousands of the most vulnerable homeless people into tents ahead of the rains. But the challenges of putting large numbers of tents in the crowded camps are considerable. Meanwhile, there are reports that a damaged supermarket collapsed while people were inside. Rescue teams, which had been retrieving bodies of quake victims from the site, tried to remove debris to reach an estimated five to eight people trapped underneath. It was unclear if they were alive. They were allegedly looters, AFP news agency reported.

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