U.S. Embassy overwhelmed by requests to leave

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Associated Press

Posted on January 22, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 22 at 12:08 PM

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The U.S. Embassy in Haiti is overwhelmed with people trying to flee the earthquake-ravaged country.

The embassy today turned away hundreds of people who wanted to get on planes that had dropped off aid. Scores of U.S. citizens were given passes, but many were told to return later.

Aid officials say about 200,000 people have fled Port-au-Prince -- by bus, ferry or foot. One report says at least half that number has fled to Gonaives (goh-nah-EEV'), a city of about 280,000 that is still recovering from back-to-back hurricanes in 2008.

The Haitian government estimates last week's massive quake killed 200,000 and left two million people homeless.

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<<APPHOTO JJX101 (01/21/10)>>

: A crowd gathers outside the U.S. Embassy hoping for a chance at attaining travel visas to enter the United States in Port-au- Prince, Haiti, Friday, Jan. 22, 2010. Haitians, trying to leave the country after last week's deadly quake, gathered outside the embassy for the last several days hoping to get visas for traveling to the United States.

<<APPHOTO JJX104 (01/21/10)>>

: A man stands in a crowd of several hundred Haitians hoping to gain access to the U.S. Embassy for travel to the United States in Port-au- Prince, Haiti, Friday, Jan. 22, 2010. Haitians, trying to leave the country after last week's deadly quake, gathered outside the embassy for the last several days hoping to get visas for traveling to the United States.

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