UN Death Toll From Haiti Quake Climbing: 16 Dead, 150 Missing
January 14, 2010
(ChattahBox)—-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is mounting a massive relief effort to help some three million victims of the devastating Haiti earthquake that shook the impoverished island nation on Tuesday. But at the same time, Secretary Ban is mourning the loss of at least 16 UN workers stationed in Haiti. And another 150 personnel are missing, including mission chief Hedi Annabi and his deputy Luis Carlos da Costa, who were reported dead yesterday, but are still trapped in the building debris said Ban. The deaths of Haitian-based UN workers could lead to the one of the highest ever fatalities in a U.N. peacekeeping mission.
Among the confirmed dead are, 11 Brazilian peacekeepers and five international police officers; three from Jordan and one each from Chad and Argentina. UN officials said 56 workers were injured. And seven workers were evacuated from the decimated country with severe injuries.
“Many continue to be trapped inside UN headquarters and other buildings,” said Ban. “Other peacekeepers and civilian staff from many member states remain unaccounted for.”
The UN headquarters in Porte-au-Prince was completely destroyed during the powerful earthquake and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner fears that everyone trapped inside the building may have perished.
But now is not the time for the UN to mourn their losses. Secretary Ban is working against time to save the lives of people still trapped alive beneath the rubble and to help the three million Haitians affected by the worst earthquake to hit the Caribbean nation in 200 years.
Ban delivered this message to the Haitian people: “To the people of Haiti I say this: We are with you. We are working quickly, as fast as humanly possible.”
See Voice of America for more.