November 7, 2010

Haiti Cholera Death Toll Now Over 500

This morning Reuters reports that the death toll from the cholera epidemic is now over 500:

Amid widespread relief that the hurricane largely spared crowded camps in the Haitian capital housing 1.3 million quake survivors, the international humanitarian operation was turning its attention back to the two-week-old epidemic, which has killed just over 500 people and sickened more than 7,000.

Reuters also reported an eighth death confirmed as a result of Hurricane Tomas:

That was a light storm toll compared with the destruction inflicted by hurricanes and storms that battered the Western Hemisphere's poorest county in 2004 and 2008, killing several thousand people.

It's not quite clear whether this is the view of the U.N. or a Reuters reporter, but apparently:

United Nations officials said Haiti was lucky it was not hit harder by Tomas, an unpredictable late hurricane in the busy 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.

I guess Reuters and the U.N. don't use Wikipedia much, or read this blog come to that? However it seems that the U.N. do ride around in helicopters from time to time. Reuters also inform us that:

Haitian President René Préval and the top U.N. humanitarian coordinator in the country, Nigel Fisher, inspected the flood-affected areas by helicopter.

Fisher said the hurricane damaged the coffee crop and other crops like bananas, and urged the international community to focus again fully on Haiti's arduous post-quake rebuilding.

"This (the storm) has taken our eye off the ball but we have to get back to it now. … The emphasis absolutely has to be on recovery," he said, urging that homeless quake survivors be gradually integrated back into their communities.

Channel 4's Jon Snow talked to Nigel Fisher:

Meanwhile the BBC don't seem to have reported on the forthcoming elections in Haiti since Wyclef Jean was ruled out of contention:

Mr Jean was one of 15 candidates disqualified from running in polls which will elect a successor to President René Préval.

That was on August 25th. Today is November 7th. The Haiti election is currently still scheduled for November 28th.

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