The confirmed death toll from Haiti's devastating earthquake has topped 150,000 in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area alone, the communications minister said today, with many more thousands dead around the country or still buried under the rubble. Communications minister Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue said the figure is based on a body count in the capital and outlying areas by a state company that has been collecting corpses and burying them in a mass grave north of Port-au-Prince.
It does not include other affected cities such as Jacmel, where thousands are believed dead, nor does it account for bodies burned by relatives. The United Nations said yesterday the government had confirmed 111,481 bodies; all told, authorities have estimated 200,000 dead from the magnitude-7.0 quake, according to Haitian government figures cited by the European Commission. "Nobody knows how many bodies are buried in the rubble—200,000, 300,000?" Lassegue said. "Who knows the overall death toll?"