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Latino Daily News

Sunday June 12, 2011

Death Toll from Floods in Haiti Continue to Rise

Death Toll from Floods in Haiti Continue to Rise

Photo: Haiti Floods

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Floods caused by heavy rainfall and mudslides in Haiti claimed the lives of 23 people and damaged 470 homes earlier this week, the United Nations humanitarian office reported today, citing information provided by the country’s authorities.

Eight people were injured and six others remain missing after the Artibonite River broke its banks, flooding the Grande Saline commune in Artibonite Department of north-western Haiti, according to an update issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Tents, tarpaulins, and non-food items have been distributed in community shelters housing those displaced by the floods. Drainage in camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) needs to be improved and there is also a scarcity of for water treatment tablets in those settlements.

This year’s humanitarian appeal for Haiti that seeks $915 million is currently 24 per cent funded, with $223 million having been received, according to OCHA.

Meanwhile, the UN Stabilization Mission for in Haiti (MINUSTAH) said it is examining an incident that allegedly took place last Sunday at the Toussaint Louverture Airport in Port-au-Prince between a Haitian customs official and the mission’s military personnel over baggage inspection.

MINUSTAH is probing the exact circumstances of the incident and has informed the Haitian authorities of its investigation, the mission said in a press release.

The mission said that it takes the allegations very seriously and stressed that under the agreement between the United Nations and the Haitian Government, MINUSTAH and its staff must “comply with all laws and regulations of the country.”

According to media reports a group of armed MINUSTAH soldiers forced their way into the airport and prevented customs officers from inspecting the luggage of their colleagues. Once outside the airport, the soldiers are alleged to have fired shots into the air.