Four tropical storms over a week have led to at least 312 deaths
The Associated Press,
GONAIVES, Haiti - The sun came out in Haiti on Monday as waters from Hurricane Ike receded and a U.S. Navy hospital ship equipped with helicopters and amphibious boats arrived in the capital to deliver food and water to cities still marooned by flooding.
Most roads remain impassible, with bridges torn away by overflowing rivers and gaping holes preventing aid from moving by land. Hard-hit
The death toll which government officials said stood at 312 people in four tropical storms in less than a month is sure to rise as more bodies surface in the mud.
Two more bodies were found Monday in coastal Cabaret, where 60 people died as mudslides and floods unleashed by a swollen river crushed homes in the middle of the night. Sixteen other people mostly children reported missing by their parents were being searched for in the wreckage, Cabaret civil defense director Henri Louis Praviel said.
And there was still no word Monday on Ike's death toll in other cities, let alone more remote areas.
Unidentifiable corpses buried
"After three days, those bodies could not stay," said Dorfeuille, adding he witnessed the burial of five people.
It wasn't clear how these bodies fit with previous tallies of the dead, but Dorfeuille denied reports citing him as giving a death toll of nearly 500 in
Lines of storm refugees trudged down from denuded hills Monday to the wreckage of their homes and stores.
"They told me it was destroyed but I wanted to see for myself," said Evos Chyot, who slogged through water up to her thighs to find her corner shop filled with black mud and debris.
Broken pews were scattered across the mud-smeared floor of the
Meanwhile, inmates at the city's jail clamored for deliverance from the overpowering stench of filth and sewage, and supplies for jail staff and U.N. peacekeepers as well as the 224 inmates were perilously low, said Dr. Manvoor Ahmad, a Pakistani member of the U.N. mission.
All across the
"People are starting to move back because they have nowhere to go," U.N. development official Eric Mouillefarine said Monday. "They want to protect their homes from looters."
The USS Kearsarge arrived in
"We moved as quickly as possible to get here, following the passing of Hurricane Ike, and we are rapidly moving to distribute relief supplies to the citizens of
The Navy helicopters were flying over storm-stricken areas on Monday, trying to find places where bigger helicopters can land with supplies. And the landing craft can carry up to 199 tons of supplies to places where even the helicopters can't land, U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Mari Tolliver said.
The Kearsage also has four operating rooms and 53 hospital beds, she said.
International aid groups warn of a secondary disaster caused by water-borne illnesses and other problems in the days and weeks ahead, and have appealed for donations to sustain a lengthy response in the storm-ravaged country.
Simply finding and feeding the survivors was the immediate concern. There are two main land routes between the capital and
Peacekeepers have beefed up security to maintain order. Bolivian troops in riot gear had to subdue hundreds of people in a line of 3,000 that snaked around a warehouse in
The situation was calmer Monday in the southern city of
"My garden was destroyed," said Yv Ospier, whose orphanage usually depends on food shipments the
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