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18 April 2024

Haiti toll climbs past 110,000

More than 110,000 people have been confirmed as killed in Haiti's devastating earthquake, the Interior Ministry said on Friday, making it the deadliest on record in the Americas.

The ministry put the toll from the disastrous January 12 quake at 111,499, a major increase from the government's previous estimate of 75,000 people killed.

Calling the damage "catastrophic," it said in a statement that 193,891 people were injured in the 7.0-magnitude quake that hit the Port-au-Prince capital region.

More than 609,600 people were currently living in 500 temporary camps, it said, updating a previous figure of 500,000 homeless.

Haitian officials have expressed fear that the death toll from the country's worst earthquake in over a century may surpass 200,000.

The impact was "particularly severe" in the center of the coastal city of Jacmel, with 10 cities and towns in Southeast (Sud-Est) department affected, the ministry said.

In West department, 20 cities and towns were impacted, with the effect especially felt in the capital and Cabaret, Cite-Soleil, Croix-des-Bouquets, Tabarre, Carrefour, Gressier, Leogane, Grand-Goave, Petit-Goave, Delmas and Petion-Ville.

The effect was "minimal" in Nippes and Grand'Anse departments, it added.

There was a "pressing need" for temporary shelter and access to basic services in the areas hit by the disaster -- food, water, medical supplies and services, sanitary supplies, body bags, mass graves, education and psychological support, according to the ministry.

The US Geological Survey said the Haiti disaster has already gone down in history as the most destructive on record in this region.

"That's probably accurate that this is the most deadly quake to occur in this part of the world," USGS geophysicist Dale Grant said.

"I don't think we've seen anything like it in this area."

The previous deadliest earthquake in the Americas was the 1970 Peru quake that left an estimated 70,000 people dead, according to the USGS.


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