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Last updated: 10 February, 2010 - Published 12:52 GMT
 
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Haiti raises deaths estimate
 
Haiti schoolchildren
Children have returned to makeshift classrooms

Haiti's government says around 230,000 people died in last month's earthquake, 18,000 more than its previous estimate.

Communications Minister Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue said the toll was not definitive. About 300,000 were injured.

The latest figure does not include bodies buried by private funeral homes in private cemeteries, or the dead buried by their own families.

The one-month anniversary of the catastrophic quake - on 12 February - is to be marked with prayer vigils and fasting.

A BBC correspondent in the capital Port-au-Prince says there is increasing concern that with the rainy season approaching, the lack of tents and temporary shelter could lead to the outbreak of disease.

Considerable challenge

In the biggest of the camps that sprung up in the city after the earthquake, people are still living under sheeting strung across wooden poles.

Aid agency officials said there was a plan to get thousands of the most vulnerable homeless people into tents ahead of the rains.

Buyers
Markets are springing up everywhere

But the challenges of putting large numbers of tents in the crowded camps are considerable.

The Haitian prime minister, Jean-Max Bellerive, acknowledged that shelter remained the biggest obstacle for the government.

He said: "We still don't have a clear vision of certain problems. Where are we going to relocate all those people?"

The UN says some 250,000 of the 1 million people in need of shelter have received tents or plastic sheets.

Escaped criminals

The main concern now is to bring in sufficient hazard-resistant, hurricane-proof shelter, a task made all the more difficult because the port was severely damaged and air transportation would be enormously costly.

Meanwhile, the top UN official in Haiti, Edmond Mulet, has urged Haitians to turn in thousands of escaped criminals before they start trouble.

Some 5,000 prisoners are estimated to have jails when the earthquake struck.

Mr Mulet said the security situation in the capital was stable, but called on the public to help turn in criminals.

"We know they are reorganizing secretly," he said.

"We have to look for them before they act. We need the collaboration of the Haitian people. We will work together to bring back the security."

 
 
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