News / Americas

UN Says At Least 16 Personnel Killed in Haiti Quake

Multimedia

Audio

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said late Wednesday that at least 16 U.N. personnel with the peacekeeping mission in Haiti perished in the powerful earthquake that shook the Caribbean nation on Tuesday. Mr. Ban called on the international community to assist the people of Haiti and said the U.N. would be at the forefront of the coordination effort.

Mr. Ban said of the fatalities that 11 were Brazilian peacekeepers, and the others were police officers - three from Jordan and one each from Argentina and Chad. Fifty-six other personnel have been confirmed injured.

Officials say some 150 others remain unaccounted for, among them the mission's chief, veteran diplomat Hedi Annabi. There have been reports that he is dead, but Mr. Ban said the U.N. is still working to confirm his status.

To the Haitian people, Mr. Ban had this message: "To the people of Haiti I say this: We are with you. We are working quickly, as fast as humanly possible."

The U.N. chief said what is most urgently needed now are well-equipped search and rescue teams.

"People buried under the rubble are still alive. We must save them, as many as possible, and we must move immediately," he said.

Brian Wagner, a VOA correspondent who arrived in Haiti Wednesday evening, reported seeing planes from several countries, including some military aircraft, as well as emergency crews and supplies.

The United Nations says that the airport is "fully operational" despite heavy damage to the control tower. Both U.N. and U.S. officials have confirmed that the Americans will take control of airport operations once their teams are in place.

As part of his coordination efforts, Mr. Ban spoke Wednesday with U.S. President Barack Obama, who he said assured him that he would deploy "all possible, available resources" to help overcome the crisis.

Former President Bill Clinton is the U.N.'s Special Envoy for Haiti. He met with Mr. Ban at U.N. headquarters and then accompanied him to a meeting of member states, at which he urged individuals and countries to be generous in their support of Haiti.

The United Nations is usually in the frontlines of disaster response, but this catastrophe has been different, in that the helpers are also among the victims. U.N. Peacekeeping Chief Alain LeRoy told reporters that the earthquake could lead to the one of the highest ever fatalities in a U.N. peacekeeping mission.

"It is clearly one of the most horrible tragedies for a U.N. peacekeeping mission," he said.  "We are receiving dozens and dozens of volunteers from other peacekeeping missions who are offering their services, who want to go to Haiti to help. So we have received a lot of solidarity among the U.N. family, but of course it is one of the most tragic days for U.N. peacekeeping."

But for now, U.N. staff are putting aside their own grief and putting their energy into saving those who can be saved and easing the plight of some three million people who were in the earthquake's path.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Kerry Discusses Trade, Terror Fight With Mexican, Canadian Counterparts

Topics include battle against Islamic State, responsibility for clean-energy future
More

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation
More

Aviation Leaders to Seek Mandate on Safety Standards

Standards for global plane tracking, cooperation on risks of flying over conflict zones will dominate a meeting set for Feb. 2-5 in Montreal
More

Dissident Venezuelan General Resurfaces

Antonio Rivero has resurfaced after nearly a year in hiding, appearing at United Nations in New York
More

US Seeks to Break Up Drug Ring

Alleged drug ring accused of smuggling cocaine and laundering money from Venezuela to the United States
More

Senators Introduce Bill to End Ban on Americans Traveling to Cuba

Some Cuban American lawmakers strongly oppose Obama administration’s sudden shift in US policy towards Cuba, others say it is past time to end embargo
More