Survivor found as search effort shifts

Published: Sunday, Jan. 24 2010 12:00 a.m. MST

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The U.N. said the Haitian government had declared an end to searches for living people trapped in the rubble, yet another survivor was saved. Rescuers said they reached Wismond Exantus by digging a narrow tunnel through the wreckage of a hotel grocery store where he was buried for 11 days.

Exantus, who is in his 20s, was placed on a stretcher and given intravenous fluids as onlookers cheered. He later told The Associated Press he survived by diving under a desk during the quake and later consuming some cola, beer and cookies in the cramped space.

Authorities have stopped short of explicitly directing all teams to halt rescue efforts, and hopeful searchers continued picking through the ruins. But U.N. relief workers said the shift in focus is critical to care for the thousands living in squalid, makeshift camps that lack sanitation. While deliveries of food, medicine and water have ticked up after initial logjams, the need continues to be overwhelming and doctors fear outbreaks of disease in the camps.

"It doesn't mean the government will order them to stop," U.N. spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said.

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