Desolation and Death

PORT-AU-PRINCE, January 14.— Haitian Prime Minister Jean Max-Berllerive said that one of the reasons for the high number of fatalities caused by the January 12 earthquake is the serious degree of poverty, which forces many families to live in precarious housing and extremely crowded conditions.

The population of the Haitian capital underwent another day of anguish on Thursday, in the midst of the chaos and desolation caused by the collapse of a large part of the city, Prensa Latina reported.

The magnitude of the tragedy, which has yet to be assessed with precision, is greater than authorities’ capacities, the prime minister stated in a press conference.

“We lack a response to an event like this. We are depending on international aid for dealing with this disaster.”

Beginning on Tuesday night, other countries in the region and elsewhere in the world, as well as international organizations, announced the mobilization of emergency resources to aid victims.

It was learned that Cuban Joel Melo Torres, who was receiving medical attention in Port-au-Prince and had been reported in a serious condition, has been flown from that city to Santiago de Cuba, where he is being treated at the Juan Bruno Zayas clinical-surgical hospital. Two other Cubans who were slightly injured, Alberto Bravo Carbonell, director of the education brigade, and Alina Almeida Rivera, from the same brigade, also returned to Cuba.

Cuban doctors in Haiti have continued to work, almost without rest and as of late Thursday night had attended to 1,987 patients and carried out 111 major and 60 minor surgeries in an improvised field hospital, according to reports.

Translated by Granma International

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