Storm shreds aging tents in Haiti's earthquake camps

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — A sudden, powerful storm that ripped through Haiti's battered capital destroyed thousands of tents in the homeless camps where more than 1.3 million people live eight months after the earthquake destroyed their homes, officials said Saturday.

The death toll from Friday's storm stood at five, and hundreds of people were injured, Civil Protection chief Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste said.

Preliminary U.N. estimates had more than 2,000 tents damaged or destroyed; international shelter officials said that number could rise above 5,000 when assessments are complete.

The storm's effect was exacerbated by the flimsiness of tarps and tents that have been baking, soaking and flapping in the Caribbean elements since the Jan. 12 earthquake killed at least 230,000 people and left millions homeless. Hundreds of thousands of families continue living on the streets of the capital waiting for temporary housing or money to find new apartments.

Reconstruction has barely begun despite billions of dollars pledged after the disaster. Less than 15 percent of money promised at the U.N. donor's conference in March has been delivered. The United States, which spent more than $1.1 billion in humanitarian aid after the quake, has not delivered any of its promised long-term funds.

Storm shreds aging tents in Haiti's earthquake camps 09/25/10 [Last modified: Saturday, September 25, 2010 9:45pm]

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