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ADVANCE Perspective: Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine

Internal Violence Looms as Death Toll in Haiti Could Reach 200,000

Published January 18, 2010 8:22 AM by Brian Ferrie

According to authorities in Haiti, as many as 200,000 people may have died in the earthquake that devastated the Caribbean country, stated a Jan. 15 Reuters report. Furthermore, three-quarters of the capital, Port-au-Prince, will likely need to be rebuilt. 

"We have already collected around 50,000 dead bodies," Interior Minister Paul Antoine Bien-Aime told Reuters. "We anticipate there will be between 100,000 and 200,000 dead in total, although we will never know the exact number."

If the casualty figures turn out to be accurate, the 7.0 magnitude quake that hit impoverished Haiti on Jan. 12 would be one of the 10 deadliest earthquakes ever recorded. Three days after it struck, gangs of robbers had begun preying on survivors living in makeshift camps on sidewalks and streets strewn with rubble and decomposing bodies.

As this terrible tale of devastation unfolds, what do you think physical therapy professionals in the United States should do to help?

posted by Brian Ferrie

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