The leading US general in Haiti has said it is a "reasonable assumption" that up to 200,000 people may have died in last Tuesday's earthquake.
Lt Gen Ken Keen said the disaster was of "epic proportions", but it was "too early to know" the full human cost.
Rescuers pulled more people alive from the rubble at the weekend, but at least 70,000 people have already had burials.
I am really proud that the Haitian Red Cross has responded so well and delighted
that Paul Conneally our communications guy, is on the ground in Haiti and is being joined by fellow Irishman Joe lowry today, Tuesday 19 January, 2010. Here is our lates update:
Operational highlights: 18 January
- Yesterday a Spanish Red Cross water and sanitation unit produced 120,000 litres of water that was then distributed by Red Cross volunteers to 24,000 people in six settlements across Port-au-Prince.
- It is estimated that in the coming days, the Red Cross Red Crescent will increase its capacity to produce and distribute water for between 200,000 and 400,000 people a day.
- A Norwegian and Canadian Red Cross rapid deployment hospital is now operational in the grounds of Port-au-Prince’s University Hospital. This 70-bed facility can provide assistance to about 200 wounded each day. A larger, 250-bed hospital will be operational later this week.
- Two mobile basic health care units are also in the field. These units, deployed by the German and Finnish Red Cross Societies, are designed to provide preventative and curative health care to about 30,000 people each. A third unit will arrive in the coming days.
- Relief distributions are planned to start today for 60,000 families. Each family will receive kits which include hygiene kits, kitchen sets, tarpaulins, mosquito nets and other items.
- So far, more than 500 tonnes of aid has been mobilized and is expected land in the coming days.
The IFRC has launched a preliminary emergency appeal seeking a total of 105.7 million Swiss francs (103 million US dollars/73 million euro) to assist 300,000 people for three years.
The ICRC, which was already present and active in Haiti before Tuesday's earthquake, works as part of the wider International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and cooperates closely with the Haitian Red Cross.
The ICRC is providing clean water to around 7,500 people in three makeshift camps. Latrines for around 1,000 people have also been built in the Delmas area. It has also provided materials to the Haitian Red Cross for the 10 first aid posts which have been set up around Port-au-Prince around the city. Six trucks carrying nearly 40 tonnes of ICRC medical supplies arrived on Sunday (17 January) with the supplies being distributed to local hospitals and clinics. A second ICRC rapid deployment team is expected to arrive in Haiti in the coming day or two to provide more forensics, tracing, nursing, communications and logistics support to staff already on the ground.
As of 18 January, more than 22,000 people had registered with the ICRC's special website, www.icrc.org/familylinks, which was activated on 14 January to help people searching for their loved ones.