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Haiti's Earthquake Death Toll Rises to 200,000

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Haitian Prime Minister Jean Max Bellerive said on Tuesday that the death toll of the devastating earthquake that shook the country on January 12, rose to 200,000.

Bellerive gave the figure during a report presentation at the Senate and he added that the figure does not include those victims that still are under the rubble and those who were buried by their relatives.

During his report, Bellerive also said that the structure of the Haitian government has to change in order to face the crisis aroused by the magnitude-7.0 earthquake.

Bellerive proposed to create an Executive Power of crisis, and to redefine the tasks of the ministers or to leave the Cabinet the way it is but to create a National Committee of Crisis.

Bellerive added that after the earthquake it was necessary to take urgent measures to reestablish the communications, to pick up the corpses and to re-order the transit in Port-au-Prince.

According to him, the Haitian government was able to make hospitals available and to assist the patients, however, they have not been able to achieve the coordination of the international crisis.

Bellerive said that the issues now are not the rebuilding of what was destroyed in the earthquake, because the situation before January 12 was not good.

Sixty percent of the gross domestic product of Haiti was destroyed in 35 seconds, Bellerive said.

(Xinhua News Agency February 3, 2010)

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