By Mambu James Kpargoi, Monrovia
In the wake of the devastating earthquake that wrecked Haiti about two weeks ago, the Liberian National Red Cross Society (LNRCS) has set up a tracing service to assist individuals residing in Liberia to locate their relatives and friends who were affected by the disaster.
The tracing service located at the head offices of the Liberian Red Cross on 107 Lynch Street, Monrovia will be opened daily for inquiries and assistance leading to possible news of the whereabouts of relatives, friends and loved ones in and out of the affected area.
The International Committee of the Red Cross’(ICRC) special website, www.icrc.org/familylinks, which was activated on 6 January, is helping people to search for their loved ones. More than 23,055 people have already registered and so far, 1,573 people have used the website to say they are safe and well. In an effort to keep track of the inquiries and possible responses, the Liberian Red Cross appreciates that all persons wishing use the website should first visit the LNRCS.
Two-Hundred and fifty six people from around the world have requested for the deletion of their names from the website, due to confirmation that they have been able to trace the person sought either through the website or by other means.
The death toll of the earthquake is estimated between 50,000 (WHO/PAHO) to 70,000 (Government), according to reports from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC).
Reports say 13,000 bodies are reported to have been buried while over 3 million people are estimated to have been affected by the disaster and are in need of immediate assistance.
The worse affected areas in Port-au-Prince (PaP) are the towns of Petits Goaves and Les Nippes, with nearly 1,000 registered deaths and more than 50,000 homeless. A mass burial of 3,000 bodies was reported on 19 January.