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150,000 buried and counting

Published:Monday | January 25, 2010 | 12:00 AM


The truckers filling Haiti's mass graves with bodies reported ever-higher numbers: More than 150,000 quake victims have been buried by the government, an official said Sunday.

That doesn't count those still under the debris, carried off by relatives or killed in the outlying quake zone.

"Nobody knows how many bodies are buried in the rubble - 200,000? 300,000? Who knows the overall death toll?" said Communications Minister Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue.

Dealing with the living, meanwhile, a global army of aid workers was getting more food into people's hands, but acknowledged falling short. "We wish we could do more, quicker," said United Nations (UN) World Food Programme chief, Josette Sheeran.

Not enough

In the Cite Soleil slum, United States soldiers and Brazilian UN peacekeeping troops distributed food. Lunie Marcelin, 57, said the handouts would help her and six grown children. "But it is not enough. We need more," said Marcelin.

Yet another aftershock, one of more than 50 since the great quake January 12, shook Port-au-Prince on Sunday, registering 4.7 magnitude, the US Geological Survey said. There were no immediate reports of further damage.

The Haitian government was urging many of the estimated 600,000 homeless huddled in open areas of Port-au-Prince, a city of two million, to look for better shelter with relatives or others in the countryside. Some 200,000 were believed already to have done so, most taking advantage of free government transportation, and others formed a steady stream out of the city on Sunday.