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600,000 need aid in Haiti: UN

Hurricane Gustav/Clean up

The UN has warned hundreds of thousands are in need of immediate aid from severe flooding in Haiti in the wake of Hanna and a previous tropical storm, Gustav.

Tens of thousands in the area around the flooded region of Gonaives have not eaten in days since Hanna swirled over Haiti for four days bringing heavy downpours that submerged the city in more than two metres of water and effectively cut off the area, aid agencies said.

Freelance reporter Reed Lindsay said he encountered an injured young boy in the city who was fending for himself after his parents drowned in the floods.

“He had a broken leg and had no medical help at all,” Lindsay told CBC News on Friday from Gonaives. “He was wearing his underwear. It was the only thing he had left.”

Joel Boutroue, the UN’s co-ordinator for aid in Haiti, told the BBC that humanitarian organizations were still struggling to reach those affected.

“In Gonaives alone, we have some 70,000 people in shelters, and around 250,000 around Gonaives City need our assistance and that of the government,” Boutroue said. “And throughout the country I would say around up to 600,000 people might require our assistance.”

Eighty of the deaths occurred in Gonaives and another 22 people died in areas immediately surrounding the port, according to statements released by the Ministry of the Interior and the Civil Protection Department. The remaining 35 deaths were scattered across Haiti, the statements said.

U.S. forecasters warned Hurricane Ike could bring yet more rains and flooding to Haiti next week as the dangerous Category 4 storm moved eastward with maximum sustained winds of up to 215 kilometres per hour.

With files from the Associated Press

U.S. southeast coast braces for Hanna

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