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Thousands of Haitians Flee Port-au-Prince

Hoping to find help among friends or family members, or just hoping to get out of their country’s devastated capital, thousands of Haitians fled Port-au-Prince on Monday by the busload and headed for the countryside. Meanwhile, the top-ranking American commander in Haiti called an estimated death toll of 150,000 to 200,000 a “start point,” according to The New York Times. –KA

New York Times:

Some Haitians told news agencies they were seeking the help of friends or family members; others said they were leaving blindly, in hopes that any change would be an improvement on the shattered chaos of Port-au-Prince.

But for every person who found an option for shelter or food outside the capital, it seemed like another still did not.

“I would like for my family to escape the misery in this city, but I need painkillers for my child first,” said Manuel Lamy, 28, a plumber whose 5-year-old daughter, Yvenca, lost her left hand. Mr. Lamy and his wife, Sagine Oscar, 30, took her to a triage center set up by Cuban doctors.

The displaced were streaming out of Port-au-Prince even as more relief, aid workers and American troops were arriving. Some hospitals along the border with the Dominican Republic were swamped with earthquake victims.

The United Nations World Food Program said it planned to distribute 200 tons of food aid on Monday to 95,000 people at eight locations and appealed anew for public donations to the relief effort. The calls for more help came even as aid workers, mobile clinics and other supplies continued to arrive at the airport and overland from the Dominican Republic.

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