On January 12th a 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti and since that day, there have been 50 aftershocks at 4.5 or higher. The search and rescue has officially ended and as of yesterday 111,481 have been confirmed dead and only 132 reported rescued alive.
It is the worst death toll from an earthquake since the 2004 Asian tsunami, and the second-highest death toll from an earthquake in more than three decades, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Some 609,000 people have also been left homeless in and around the capital of Port-au-Prince, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.
Before the search-and-rescue effort ended Friday afternoon, OCHA said, rescuers had managed to pull 132 people alive from the rubble.
That number did not include two rescues Friday. An Israeli team pulled a 22-year-old man alive from the ruins of a three-story building, and doctors in Port-au-Prince were treating a 69-year-old woman they said was rescued Friday morning.
About 120 to 140 flights a day are now regularly arriving at the single-runway Port-au-Prince airport, compared with 25 the day after the quake struck last week, OCHA said. To relieve congestion at the airport, humanitarian cargo is being moved to a forward dispatch area at one end of the runway.
The Las Americas airport in Santo Domingo, in the neighboring Dominican Republic, is starting to report congestion as it becomes increasingly useful as an alternative airport, OCHA said. It will now be open overnight to accommodate the extra traffic, OCHA said.
The U.S. military has obtained landing rights at the Dominican Republic’s air base at San Isidro, about 135 miles (220 kilometers) east of Port-au-Prince.
Port-au-Prince’s main port is now working at 30 percent capacity, which should increase in the coming days, OCHA said. The port is only handling humanitarian cargo and is still closed to commercial traffic, it said.
Haiti is negotiating with the Dominican Republic to use the port at Barahona –about midway between the two countries’ capitals — for more humanitarian deliveries, OCHA said.
Those managing the land transport of supplies will need fuel, and OCHA said there is enough in Haiti to last an additional 18 to 19 days. But it said it expects no shortage of fuel because supplies of fuel will be able to enter the port during that time.
One concern with cross-border traffic is the unauthorized departure of Haitian children, OCHA said.
Charities and aid groups have said in recent days they are concerned about the danger of child trafficking after the earthquake. Groups including Save the Children and World Vision have called for a halt to adoptions, saying many children may appear to be orphaned but in fact have simply been separated from their families.
“If children must be evacuated from Haiti because their protection needs cannot be met in country, the evacuation must be carefully documented, the children must be registered with the proper authorities and all efforts must be made to reunify them with family before any adoption proceedings are considered,” the U.S.-based Women’s Refugee Commission said.
The number of unaccompanied children needing support is greater than the capacity to respond, OCHA said. Authorities are working with unaccompanied children who are being released from hospitals, it said.
There are now 47 hospitals, 11 mobile clinics and two floating hospitals — from the United States and Mexico — in and around Port-au-Prince, OCHA said.
One of those floating hospitals is the USNS Comfort, a U.S. Navy vessel just off the Haitian coast. Capt. James Ware, the commanding officer, oversees a team of 80 doctors, including 24 surgeons and 140 nurses.
Ware said Friday that the hospital had received about 240 patients over 36 hours. In the next few days, he said, he expected the ship to treat about 150 patients a day.
Since the start of the disaster response, the World Food Programme has distributed more than 1,167,000 rations to Haitians in the quake’s aftermath. Most of the rations have gone to Port-au-Prince, but many have also gone to the towns of Jacmel, about 20 miles away on Haiti’s southern coast, and Leogane, about 17 miles west of the capital, OCHA said.
More than 580,000 people have received donations of water from UNICEF — five liters (1.3 gallons) per person, OCHA said. The International Committee of the Red Cross has delivered 30,000 liters of water, OCHA said.
U.N. officials are talking with Haiti’s national water authority about how to meet Haitians’ increasing water needs, OCHA said. Among the things they’re considering are private water distribution and creating new wells and boreholes.
Some 50 aftershocks of magnitude 4.5 or higher have hit Haiti since last week’s earthquake, according to OCHA.
There are now concerns that in some Port-au-Prince neighborhoods, including the slum of Cite Soleil, prisoners who escaped after the earthquake have returned and are attempting to reconstitute gangs, the U.N. said.