Hurricane season could spark new Haiti crisis: official
A World Food Program official said 6,000 Haitian families are in danger, as US helicopters plan to stop ferrying food and water to the area around Mapou.
Dozens more bodies were discovered Monday in the eastern town of Fonds-Verrettes, bringing Haiti's death toll to 1,068.
Flood waters have left both areas accessible only by helicopter. Canadian and US helicopters have airlifted 112 tonnes of food. They also hauled 40,000 liters (10,000 gallons) of water to Mapou and five tonnes of medical supplies to Fonds-Verette, he said.
But World Food Program representative Guy Gauvreau criticized the force for suspending its flights, saying 10,000 people remained at risk around Mapou.
"I thought the force was going to continue" its helicopter flights, but he said the Americans in charge had told him "it's not their mandate," Gauvreau, a Canadian, told AFP.
Some 100 tonnes of food and medicine are needed in the region around Mapou, which could remain cut off by flood waters and mudslides for a long time, Gauvreau said.
The soldiers in the multinational force "think that there's no more emergency. For us, there is an emergency and that's where we differ," said Gauvreau, a Canadian national.
The multinational force was deployed here after an armed uprising led former president Jean Bertrand Aristide to flee the country February 29.
The force does not have enough helicopters to evacuate the entire region at risk, US Colonel Glen Sachtleben said.
"We have limited resources, there are too many people," he said. "We have met the immediate need at Mapou and Fonds-Verrettes."
He said the start of hurricane season Tuesday could worsen an already-grim humanitarian crisis.
"There will be another crisis in the next 30-day period," Sachtleben said.
Aid agencies, UN officials and the multinational force were to meet Monday to hash out plans for the coming week.
Meanwhile, relief efforts were also underway in the Dominican Republic, which shares the mountainous island of Hispaniola with Haiti.
Relief workers helped survivors with the pain of losing loved ones and their homes.
At least 410 people have died in Dominican Republic, and the town of Jimani was practically wiped out by the flood waters.
The local church said 5,000 of the town's 12,000 residents are homeless.
About 80 families lost their homes, clothing, food and cookware.
prh/kd/ceh AFP 010059 GMT 06 04
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Received by NewsEdge Insight: 05/31/2004 21:01:56
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