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Intense storm blasts Haiti

Disaster responders assess damages following deadly wind and rain storm

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI | September 25, 2010

Months after a powerful earthquake devastated the Haitian capital, a sudden rainstorm on Friday killed at least 5 people and affected thousands of people more in the region.

The powerful storm brought strong winds to the capital and came as sudden as a powerful earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince in January. It left as many as 5,000 tents destroyed, according to the United Nations.

Authorities in the capital said five people were killed in the storm that only lasted several minutes. Hundreds more were said to be injured, although exact numbers were not immediately available.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was saddened by the loss of life and damage and extended his 'deepest condolences' to the families of the victims, said Martin Nesirky, Ban's spokesman.

"The United Nations is responding to the situation," Nesirky said. "More than 40 teams composed of staff of the United Nations, aid agencies and the Government of Haiti are currently assessing the damage, and an aerial assessment is being conducted with the Government."

Forces from the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti were deployed throughout the city in the aftermath of the storm and are helping people who have been trapped or are in need of medical assistance. "The aid community has adequate supplies in place to respond, including tarpaulins, hygiene hits, blankets and food," Nesirky added.

Nesirky said that Ban welcomes the generosity of donors who have responded to Haiti and other crises this year, including the devastating floods in Pakistan. "The Secretary-General stressed the importance of the need for continued support for Haiti where $450 million is still required to meet ongoing needs," he said.

The powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck close to Port-au-Prince on January 12 left some 230,000 people killed, and millions more affected. It was one of the deadliest disasters in modern history.

Copyright 2010 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved.


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