Death toll in Haiti soars to 136 | world | Hindustan Times
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Death toll in Haiti soars to 136

The death toll in Haiti from tropical storm Hanna rose to 136, officials said, as the country's third largest city Gonaives remained largely underwater and "extremely dangerous" Hurricane Ike in the Atlantic aimed at the country.

world Updated: Sep 05, 2008 09:45 IST

The death toll in Haiti from tropical storm Hanna rose to 136, officials said, as the country's third largest city Gonaives remained largely underwater and "extremely dangerous" Hurricane Ike in the Atlantic aimed at the country.

Alta Jean-Baptiste, head of Haiti's civil protection office, said that 102 of those who died were killed in northern Haiti, mostly in Gonaives, a city of 300,000.

She also said that flooding and landslides triggered by the heavy rain forced nearly 10,000 people into shelters. The figure does not count the thousands evacuated from Gonaives.

The Haitian Senate called on the government to declare a "humanitarian emergency" in the city, as a lawmaker said that people there are starving.

Senator Yuri Latortue, who represents the city, called the situation "catastrophic."

"I know perfectly well that the hurricane season has hit our entire country, but the situation in Gonaives is truly special, because now some 200,000 people there haven't eaten in three days," he said.

The devastation from Hanna, which is now sweeping towards the US Atlantic coast, recalled painful memories of the massive tropical storm Jeanne of 2004, which triggered flooding and landslides that killed 3,000 people in and around Gonaives.

The country is meanwhile preparing for the possible arrival of Hurricane Ike, which the Miami-based National Hurricane Centre called "an extremely dangerous Category Four storm on the (five-level) Saffir-Simpson scale.