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01 March 2024

UN employees and thousands others feared dead in Haiti quake

Haitians walk past buildings destroyed in the tremor in Port-au-Prince. A tsunami alert was issued for the Caribbean region. (AFP)


French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said yesterday he feared everyone inside the United Nations headquarters in Haiti was killed when the building was destroyed by a powerful earthquake, which killed possibly thousands of people, as aftershocks rattled through the night and into yesterday.

However, he said Haiti's President Rene Preval had managed to escape his collapsing palace during the earthquake that rocked Porte-au-Prince on Tuesday.

The Red Cross and United Nations yesterday unlocked emergency funds and mobilised supplies for a "massive" aid operation in Haiti amid fears of huge devastation following the earthquake there.

The airport of the quake-hit-Haitian capital Port-au-Prince is operational and relief aid will started arriving soon, the head of UN peacekeeping operations said yesterday. "The airport is operational" and aid will start flowing soon, Alain Leroy told reporters.


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