Page last updated at 14:25 GMT, Thursday, 11 February 2010

Haiti quake death toll rises to 230,000

Workers demolish a building damaged in the 12 January earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Damaged buildings are being demolished in Port-au-Prince

Haiti's government says about 230,000 people died in last month's earthquake, 18,000 more than its previous estimate.

The toll from the 12 January quake is approaching that of the 2004 Asian tsunami, which killed 250,000 people.

Communications Minister Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue said the toll was not definitive. About 300,000 were injured.

But later, Interior Minister Paul Bien-Aime issued a slightly different total, saying the "verified" death toll was "more than 217,000".

He said: "There are people who put forth the figure of 230,000, but we have counted a bit more than 217,000. These are verified figures."

The latest figure does not include bodies buried by private funeral homes in private cemeteries, or the dead buried by their own families.

The one-month anniversary of the catastrophic quake is to be marked with prayer vigils and fasting.

A BBC correspondent in the capital Port-au-Prince says there is increasing concern that with the rainy season approaching, the lack of tents and temporary shelter could lead to the outbreak of disease.

Supermarket collapse

In the biggest of the camps that sprang up in the city after the earthquake, people are still living under sheeting strung across wooden poles.

Aid agency officials said there was a plan to get thousands of the most vulnerable homeless people into tents ahead of the rains.

But the challenges of putting large numbers of tents in the crowded camps are considerable.

There were reports on Tuesday that a damaged supermarket had collapsed while people were inside.

Rescue teams, which had been retrieving bodies of quake victims from the site, tried to remove the debris to reach an estimated five to eight people trapped underneath - said to have been looters - but eventually gave up the search, AFP news agency reported.

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Los Angeles Times Torrential rain sure to follow Haiti quake - 3 hrs ago Haiti quake toll rises - 3 hrs ago
Sydney Morning Herald Haiti quake toll now more than 217,000 - 5 hrs ago
AFP via Yahoo! Haiti quake toll rises to 217,000 - 9 hrs ago
WA Haiti raises earthquake toll to 230,000 - 11 hrs ago

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