Teenager Buried Alive for 15 Days

French rescuers have pulled a teenage girl out of the rubble of the destroyed College St Gerard in Port-au-Prince, a stunning recovery 15 days after an earthquake devastated the Haitian capital. A cousin says Darlene Etienne had just started studying at the school when the disaster struck.

"We thought she was dead," the cousin said The French rescuers rushed her to a field hospital.

On Tuesday, Haitians pulled a man from the rubble of a downtown store. He later said he had been trapped since one of the quake's early aftershocks.

At least 83 UN staffers died in the earthquake and 32 remain unaccounted for, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says. President Rene Preval says "nearly 170,000" bodies have already been counted, substantially higher than previous toll estimates of 150,000.

"In 15 days many efforts have been made. The National Equipment Company (NEC) has made great efforts in removing nearly 170,000 dead from the streets and clearing the roadways to facilitate traffic," Preval told a press conference on Wednesday.

On Monday, Health Minister Alex Larsen said he expected a final death toll of about 150,000 from the earthquake, the worst disaster ever recorded in the Americas. Pillagers have run rife in the ruins of the capital, while there is no sign of the tent camps promised by the government for the hundreds of thousands of homeless people fleeing grim conditions in Port-au-Prince.

Just four blocks from the destroyed presidential palace as crowds queued under a blazing sun, Immacula Cadet said she was hungry, but was afraid of being hurt in the long lines if fighting erupts over the handouts.

"I don't want to battle in the road to have a little bread," she told AFP. "We really have problems. We need all that (aid). We need food, we have no water."

Up to a million people were left homeless and destitute by the 7.0-magnitude January 12 quake, which destroyed much of the capital city of the impoverished Caribbean nation and left 150,000 dead. A massive aid effort has swung into place, but many Haitians, left living in makeshift camps dotted around Port-au-Prince, say they have yet to receive vital supplies of food or water.

Haitians are "desperately in need of meals ready to eat" and tents ahead of the rainy season, senior UN humanitarian official Catherine Bragg said at the World Economic Forum at the Swiss mountain resort of Davos.

In the Cite Soleil slum on Tuesday, several thousand desperate people converged on a walled police compound for sacks of relief supplies, surging against the steel gates.

Across the city, walls have been scrawled with messages. "We need help. Food, water, medicine," said one in Spanish and English.

Some 20,000 US troops have been sent in to help distribute food and water, with the US saying it had begun to hand out 14 million meals and was aiming to supply half a million people with fresh water within a few days.