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Amid Gang Violence and Rebel Presence, Death Toll Rises in Haiti’s Floods

The news coming out of Gonaives and the surronding area is troubling.

Today there are reports that Haiti’s former military have begun patrolling the area to prevent looting, and growing concern about the extent of damage the storm has done to crops in the area.

The Haitian National Police and the UN forces have been able to do little to insure the security of local and international aid workers, or to facilitate the delivery of direly-needed food, water and emergency shelter materials.

A report yesterday in the Guardian (UK) set the death toll at 2400, including several hundred newly reported casualties in the countryside around Poteau. It is likely that the death toll will continue to rise as more reports come in from remote areas that have still not been visited by the government or aid workers.

We’ve just posted a September 23 report from Gonaives by the National Coalition for Haitian Rights. Members of the group traveled to Gonaives on September 21 2004 to assess the catastrophe. We will continue to do our best to share news from our partners as it comes in.