OTTAWA [Peter Paul Media] — The total number of Canadians killed following a devastating earthquake in Haiti has risen to 13, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon announced Wednesday.
There are 543 Canadians still unaccounted for in the country with another 1,681 safely located.
“We continue to use all available means to locate Canadians so they can be reunited with their loved ones back home,” said Cannon.
The minister said 56 Canadians have taken refuge at the Canadian embassy in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital.
“There have now been 16 flights back to Canada, including one that just arrived this morning in Montreal, returning a total of 1,441 evacuees since the beginning of the crisis; yesterday’s number was 1,206,” said Cannon.
During a press conference this morning in Ottawa, Cannon added that the situation in Haiti remains fragile, “with a number of challenges.”
“The UN has indicated that immediate priorities for the wider humanitarian response continue to be medical assistance, shelter, water, food and sanitation,” he said.
“We spoke to our ambassador in Port-au-Prince, and he informed us that our embassy has suffered further damages on the second floor. All are fine; there were no injuries,” he added. Another severe 6.1 magnitude aftershock struck Haiti earlier Wednesday causing additional damage to the Canadian embassy.
A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the impoverished country on January 12 causing severe damage to buildings and tens of thousands of deaths.