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Nearly 2,000 dead from Haiti earthquake; storm complicates relief efforts

Nearly 2,000 dead from Haiti earthquake; storm complicates relief efforts
Nearly 2,000 people have died following an earthquake that struck Haiti on Saturday and heavy rains from Tropical Storm Grace have complicated relief efforts. Photo by Orlando Barria/EPA-EFE

Aug. 17 (UPI) -- The death toll from the earthquake in Haiti rose to nearly 2,000 Tuesday as recovery efforts on the island nation were complicated by heavy rains from Tropical Strom Grace.

Haiti's Office of Civil Protection said in an update Tuesday that a total of 1,941 people have died and 9,900 people have been injured as a result of the 7.2-magnitude quake that struck Saturday.

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The United Nation's Children's Fund on Tuesday estimated that 1.2 million people, including 540,000 children have been affected by the earthquake, adding that the Tropical Storm Grace "is further disrupting access to water, shelter and other basic services."

"Last night, I saw strong winds and heavy rainfall strike the same areas already affected by the earthquake," said Bruno Maes, UNICEF's representative in Haiti. "Countless Haitian families who have lost everything due to the earthquake are now living literally with their feet in the water due to the flooding."

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Maes added that relief efforts have also been complicated by gangs that control the main road from the capital in Port-au-Prince to the southern portion of the country but UNICEF was able to deliver enough medical supplies including gloves, painkillers, antibiotics and syringes to treat 30,000 victims over thee next three months.

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UNICEF added that more than 84,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed along with hospitals, schools and bridges in the country already reeling from the assassination of its president, Jovenel Moise, last month and a 2010 earthquake that killed more than 100,000.

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