Tags: rain | Haiti | quake | shelter

As Rains Come, Haitians Seek Shelter

Tuesday, 02 Mar 2010 09:32 AM


Getting the 1.3 million homeless quake survivors in Haiti under shelter before the onset of the country's wet season in the next couple of months is a top priority, UN and Red Cross officials said yesterday.

"We recognize that the rainy season represents a very grave threat to the quake-affected people in the improvised settlements. And the floods in the southwest over the weekend were a reminder of what's to come," Red Cross spokesman Alex Wynter said.

Flooding killed at least 13 people and forced the evacuation of 3,000 in and around Haiti's third-biggest city of Les Cayes on Saturday - a region untouched by January's devastating earthquake.

Kristen Knutson, a spokesman for the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said 40 per cent of those huddled in makeshift camps around the flattened capital Port-au-Prince - 523,000 people - have received materials to make emergency shelters.

While those efforts were continuing, there were concerns that many of the survivors would be exposed to torrential downpours and flooding when the wet season unleashes its full force come April or May.

"Right now, an estimated 604,000 people are staying in 415 spontaneous settlements of all sizes throughout Port-au-Prince," Knutson said.

To read full Montreal Gazette story — Go Here Now.

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2010-32-02
Tuesday, 02 Mar 2010 09:32 AM
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