Sunday, January 24, 2010

Haiti earthquake: government fears toll could rise to 300,000

Haiti's government has claimed the toll from the country's earthquake could rise to as many as 300,000 dead.

The confirmed death toll was raised to 150,000 on Sunday, but that was only the count of bodies so far found and collected in the capital Port-au-Prince.

It did not include those recovered in other areas like the shattered city of Leogane, near the earthquake epicentre, and Jacmel on the southern coast.

The count did not include the large number of bodies burned by relatives after lying for days in the streets, and those still under the wreckage of their homes.

"Nobody knows how many bodies are buried in the rubble - 200,000 ... 300,000?" said Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue, the information minister. "Who knows the overall death toll?"

She said the final toll may never be known.