Saturday, September 6, 2008

CNN Reports

GONAIVES, Haiti (AP) -- A ship carrying 33 tons of U.N. relief supplies managed to dock Friday, the first significant aid delivery after four days without food or water for thousands of survivors from Tropical Storm Hanna
Soldiers with assault rifles stood guard in the crumbling port while dockworkers offloaded 15 metric tons of relief supplies from the capital of Port-au-Prince. The container ship was loaded with bottled water, 36,000 water-purification tablets, 16 metric tons of high-energy biscuits and 2 metric tons of rice, along with cooking oil and other supplies managed by the U.N. World Food Program.
Belching white smoke from its stack, the Tres Rivieres ship was able to dock after the Argentine soldiers worked through the night with heavy equipment to drop boulders into a gap in the pier left by the storm. They aimed to distribute the biscuits and water within hours to emergency shelters, where 40,000 people were marooned and increasingly desperate.
Hanna's floodwaters inundated more than half the homes in Haiti's fourth-largest city when it struck on Monday, and corpses surfaced in the muddy wreckage Friday as floodwaters receded, raising the known death toll to 137.
But the break in the weather is expected to be short -- Hurricane Ike, now a Category 3 hurricane -- could sideswipe Haiti this weekend, even as international aid groups struggle to reach thousands of victims.
"I am worried because the soil is completely impregnated with water, and there is no way for the rivers to take more water," said Max Cocsi, who directs Belgium's mission in Haiti of Doctors Without Borders. "We don't need a hurricane -- a storm would be enough."
Cocsi, who arrived in Gonaives on Thursday, told The Associated Press that no one knows how many have been killed. The focus now is on reaching the living, not recovering bodies.

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