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Death toll rises; relief crawls forward in Haiti

Haitians reach for water during food distribution on Sunday in Les Cayes. Associated Press/Photo by Matias Delacroix

Death toll rises; relief crawls forward in Haiti

Haitian gang leader Jimmy Cherizier, a.k.a. “Barbecue,” posted a Facebook video on Sunday offering a truce and aid to the parts of the country hardest hit by the Aug. 14 earthquake. Gang roadblocks and vehicle hijacking have hampered relief efforts so far, forcing aid groups to deliver supplies by helicopter. “We invite all compatriots to show solidarity with the victims by trying to share what little there is with them,” Cherizier said. His is only one of many Haitian gangs, however. A previously reported gang truce produced little effect. Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency increased the death toll from the magnitude 7.2 quake to 2,207, and 344 people remain missing.

How are Haitian Christians doing? On Sunday, several churches gathered outside their collapsed sanctuaries to worship. At least one moved the service to 6:30 a.m. to avoid the midday heat. An evangelical church in the Bergeaud neighborhood of Les Cayes met in its building on Sunday for the first time since the quake despite the gaping holes in the ceiling and facade. “Today was a must … to thank God. He protected us. We did not die,” Pastor Sevrain Marc Dix Jonas said.

Dig deeper: Read Onize Ohikere’s report in World Tour on Haiti’s dual disasters.

Charissa Koh

Charissa is a WORLD reporter who often writes about poverty-fighting and criminal justice. She resides with her family in Atlanta.



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