Earthquake leaves 750,000 Homeless, 15 January 2010
At a press conference, Haiti’s minister of health, Alex Larsen, has announced that an estimated 750,000 – 1 million people are homeless, that more than 50,000 have died, and around 250,000 are injured.
In Port-au-Prince, Stefano Zannini, the head of mission for Médecins sans Frontiéres, said his staff had been working around the clock under canvas to perform life-saving surgery on hundreds of people with dangerous open fractures. Thousands more were still awaiting help, and at least 100 had died before their wounds could be tended. “People are still coming to our structures by any way they can, in cars, on motorbikes, even being carried on doors used as stretchers,” he said. “We have thousands ready for surgical interventions.”
With the city’s tiny airport overwhelmed, aid organisations were struggling to find alternative routes to bring in vital medical supplies. Lorries bearing tarpaulins, high-energy food, water and medical supplies were beginning to reach the city by road yesterday after being flown into the Dominican Republic. With Port-au-Prince’s commercial docks destroyed by the quake, hopes of bringing sea cargo rest on the tiny northern port of Cap Haîtien – the only means by which to bring in the quantities of food required by hungry survivors. (The Times)