Haiti quake worst-ever disaster facing UN

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The earthquake that has devastated Haiti is the worst catastrophe the United Nations has ever faced, according to a UN spokeswoman.

 

She said nearly all the infrastructure in the affected areas has been destroyed. She pointed out that the tsunami that struck Asia in 2004 at least had not destroyed government buildings.

 

Haiti's earthquake may have killed up to 200,000 people, according to the government. More than 50,000 bodies have already been collected to be buried in mass graves. Around 1.5 million people are estimated to have been left homeless.

 

Tensions are rising in the capital Port-au-Prince amid complaints that aid and supplies are arriving too slowly. Scuffles broke out as desperate Haitians were queuing to receive relief supplies. In the capital youths armed with machetes are reported to be roaming the streets and plundering shops. Around 4,000 dangerous criminals are on the loose after the quake destroyed the prison in which they were confined. Fearing further destruction and ongoing violence, thousands of people are fleeing the capital.

 

The US is sending 10,000 troops to Haiti to help distribute emergency supplies and maintain order.

 

Port-au-Prince after the quake (Photo: EPA)