"We are working against the clock"

Rescuers in Haiti are hampered by a lack of equipment

Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon says Canadians should expect more of their fellow citizens to join an ever-growing list of casualties in Haiti. So  far, three of the approximately 6,000 Canadians living in Haiti have been confirmed dead, but Cannon warned “that we expect more casualties to be reported as search and rescue operations unfold.” In all, the Red Cross estimates the death toll could be between 45,000 and 50,000. Ottawa announced yesterday that it would match Canadians’ donations to the ongoing aid effort in Haiti following the devastating earthquake in the capital of Port-au-Prince. Two Canadian warships carrying humanitarian aid are set to leave for the Caribbean country Thursday and two aircraft are already on their way. Meanwhile, the U.S. is rushing up to 3,500 soldiers and 2,200 marines to the scene of the tragedy to help with the rescue effort. Rescuers have so far been slowed in their ability to find survivors due lack heavy lifting equipment, leaving many to use their bare hands. According to the BBC, “the situation is increasingly desperate” and aid has only begun “trickling in.” Elisabeth Byrs, who works with the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, says at the moment, “the priority is to find survivors. We are working against the clock.”


Toronto Star


Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.