Hundreds of dead lying in streets of Haiti heighten health risks
Sanitary conditions in quake-stricken Haiti are reaching catastrophic levels due to the lack of water and decaying bodies lying on the streets of the capital, Mexico`s ambassador to Haiti said on Friday, according to RIA Novosti.
The 7.0-magnitude earthquake, which struck Haiti on Tuesday, has practically leveled the country`s capital of Port-au-Prince, with estimates of over 100,000 people thought to have been killed.
"The sanitary conditions are worsening by the fact that the government is unable to bury the large number of dead and hundreds remain lying in the streets of Port-au-Prince, even though 5,000 were buried on Thursday," Everardo Suarez told RIA Novosti.
Suarez also said that the situation in Haiti is getting worse every day due to the lack of water, electricity and medical support, and that looters take to the streets at night in search of food, water and trophies.
Humanitarian aid deliveries are crippled by the fact that Haiti`s international airport is almost dysfunctional due to power outages and the destruction of the flight control tower. On Thursday, 11 planes with humanitarian aid circled above the airport and were finally directed to other airports on the island. Most humanitarian aid is now on the ground, however, cannot be delivered to the capital because of road conditions and the lack of transportation facilities.
The first two Russian Il-76 transport planes landed on Friday in the Dominican Republic delivering rescue workers, supplies and heavy equipment to help the victims in Haiti.
According to Salavat Mingaleyev, the head of the Russian rescue mission, the rescue teams will leave Santo Domingo for Port-au-Prince on Friday afternoon at the earliest.
"The landing in Santo Domingo is not the best option for us. The rescuers will have to travel about 280 kilometers [174 miles] to reach the destroyed Port-au-Prince," Mingaleyev said.
"Every minute counts now, but it could take up to eight hours to get there," he added.
The Russian planes have been diverted to the neighboring Dominican Republic after the Haitian government said there was no more room for planes to unload their cargo at Toussaint L`Ouverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince.