For public distribution
Thursday, January 14, 2010
6:00 PM, EDT
Two days after a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, search and rescue efforts continue at a frantic pace. Communication within Haiti is still difficult although some international calls are getting through. This is hampering the collection of real time information on the health impact of the earthquake. On the ground, members of the Regional Response Team are assembled in the Dominican Republic and will be in Haiti by Friday.
- A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on Tuesday afternoon, January 12, 2010, close to the nation's capital of Port-au-Prince. The quake was felt in the Dominican Republic and as far away as Jamaica.
- There are still no clear estimates of the numbers of dead and injured. The Red Cross estimates around 3 million injured and homeless. A variety of sources estimate the number of dead from 50,000 to 100,000 people.
- Around 200 UN staff in Haiti, including peacekeepers from the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), remains unaccounted for.
- Reports state that people are placing dead bodies in sheets on the streets; the chief of UN police has decided they should be taken by MINUSTAH to a central location.
- Impact on health facilities:
o At least 8 hospitals and/or health centers have collapsed or sustained damage and are unable to function. More information will be made available when the PAHO/WHO assessment team makes their report.
o Health facilities are overwhelmed, forcing people to be treated in makeshift areas.
o Two hospitals were also damaged in the Dominican Republic, in Barahona and Santiago. Damage to the Santiago hospital was minor. Both hospitals are still functioning.
- The airport is intermittently open and closed. In addition, supplies arriving into the country are piling on the tarmac.
- Roads from the border town of Jimaní in the Dominican Republic to Port-au-Prince appear to be open. Injured people are seeking medical help in Jimaní.