Haiti Earthquake

Haiti Earthquake

Death toll from 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Haiti rises to over 700 people

Haiti Earthquake: The Haitian government declared a state of emergency after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the country Saturday, leaving at least 724 people dead and injuring another 2,800, according to Haiti’s civil protection agency.

The majority of deaths occurred in the south of the country, where 500 people are known to have died. The quake destroyed 2,868 homes and damaged another 5,410, officials from the agency said. The destruction has also pushed hospitals to the brink and blocked roads that would carry vital supplies.

“When it comes to medical needs, this is our biggest urgency. We have started to send medications and medical personnel to the facilities that are affected,” Prime Minister Ariel Henry said. “For the people who need urgent special care, we have evacuated a certain number of them, and we will evacuate some more today and tomorrow.”

The state of emergency is in effect for the Western Department, Southern Department, Nippes and Grand’Anse.

The earthquake struck at 8:30 a.m. about 10 kilometers deep, with its epicenter about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) northeast of Saint-Louis-du-Sud in the southwest part of the country. The location was about 60 miles west of the disastrous 7.0-magnitude earthquake in 2010 that killed an estimated 220,000 to 300,000 people.

Saturday’s quake was far less damaging than the one in 2010. A United Nations reconnaissance mission to the affected areas found “less significant damages than initially expected,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Sunday.
“The most urgent humanitarian needs are expected to be linked to the provision of medical assistance and water, sanitation and hygiene,” the organization said.
Amethyste Arcelius, an administrator at Immaculate Conception Hospital in Les Cayes, told CNN on Sunday that he was expecting a massive wave of victims, including many from the city’s outer areas who were not able to travel Saturday, or who were too afraid of further aftershocks to try to seek medical help.
“We are starting to receive help from NGOs and from the government, but it’s far from enough. We desperately need x-ray film,” Arcelius said.

The hospital currently has 500 earthquake victims, many with broken feet and limbs, as well as head injuries.

The earthquake is just the latest challenge for the struggling country, which is still dealing with fallout from the 2010 earthquake. The assassination of President Jovenel Moise last month, which has not yet been solved or properly explained, has added further instability to a country in crisis.
“We’re concerned that this earthquake is just one more crisis on top of what the country is already facing — including the worsening political stalemate afte rthe president’s assassination, COVID and food insecurity,” Jean-Wickens Merone, a spokesman with World Vision Haiti, said in a statement.
In addition, Haiti is likely to experience high winds and heavy rain from Tropical Storm Grace on Monday into Tuesday, CNN Meteorologist Haley Brink said. That rain could lead to flooding and mudslides, furthering complicating the recovery efforts.

The entire coast of Haiti is under a tropical storm watch, meaning tropical storm conditions are possible within about 48 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Videos Offer Glimpse of Destruction

Haiti Haiti Earthquake

Videos posted on social media offer a glimpse of the widespread destruction after the earthquake. One from Les Cayes shows a street strewn with rubble and what is left of a number of buildings. Dust fills the air.
A man in the video said that he was lucky that the building he was in did not collapse, but many other houses in the area did.
A man in the video said that he was lucky that the building he was in did not collapse, but many other houses in the area did.

“Many were injured on the road,” he said.
Eveline Dominique Cherie, a UNICEF staff member from Les Cayes, told CNN on Sunday that the quake was “extremely severe,” and the house shook. “
“I had to rush my children to their room and take them to the street. Fortunately, they did not fall. In the minutes that followed the road was full of people fleeing their homes, injured everywhere, and many houses collapsed,” Cherie said. .
One hospital in the southern city of Jeremie said it was overcrowded and had set up tents in its backyard.
“There are a lot of people coming – a lot of people,” the manager of Hôpital Saint Antoine told CNN. “We don’t have enough stuff.”
Merone, a spokesman for World Vision Haiti, said he was in Port-au-Prince, about 60 miles [100 km] from Saint-Louis-du-Sud, when the quake struck. He said the quake lasted “more than five to ten seconds,” and both sides of his house were shaking.
A 5.2-magnitude earthquake struck Saturday morning about 20 miles northwest of Cavaillon, Haiti, according to USGS. That was followed by many more, including a 5.1-magnitude earthquake at noon.

The tsunami threat in the region is over, according to the US Tsunami Warning System.
Since June, armed gang violence has cut off some of the areas affected by the quake, making the outcome a challenge, Jacqueline Charles, a Caribbean journalist for the Miami Herald, told CNN.
“This is a country without helicopters, other than what the United Nations has. So this is a big challenge,” Charles told CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield.

The Prime Minister urged the people of Haiti to come together

aa Haiti Earthquake

The family eats breakfast in front of the homes destroyed by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Les Cayes, Haiti, on Sunday, August 15.
Henry, Haitian Prime Minister, arrived in Grand’Anse on Saturday evening to assess the extent of the damage and to better coordinate the government’s response, he said on Twitter.
“Resources have been mobilized from this morning to provide assistance and assistance to those affected by the devastating earthquake,” he added.
Henry called on the people of Haiti to come together in unity.
“I extend my condolences to the relatives of the victims of the massive earthquake that resulted in the deaths of people and their property in the country’s departments,” Henry said.
“I urge the spirit of unity and commitment of all the people of Haiti, to build a common side to the current crisis,” read another tweet.
Martine Moise, Haiti’s first wife, said she was “deeply saddened” by the news of the earthquake.
“The first information I received from Grand’Anse is heartwarming,” he said. “My heart aches for the children, mothers, the elderly, the disabled, my friends, and all those who have been affected by this earthquake.”
“Brothers and sisters, we must put our shoulders together so that we can come together to show our unity. It is our unity that builds our strength and resilience. Courage, I will always be there,” added Moise.

The US and other countries are providing assistance

aaa Haiti Earthquake

People search for debris from the former Manguier Hotel following the August 14 earthquake in Les Cayes, southwest of Haiti.
In a statement on Saturday, U.S. President Joe Biden said he was “deeply saddened by the devastating earthquake that struck Saint-Louis du Sud, Haiti, this morning.”
“We extend our heartfelt condolences to all those who lost their loved ones or who saw their homes and businesses destroyed,” the statement said. “I have authorized the immediate response of the US and appointed USAID Executive Director Samantha Power as US chief executive officer to coordinate this effort.”
Power said on Twitter on Saturday night that he had approved the posting of the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team in Haiti and was working with the Haitian government to help the country.
The Red Cross emergency response system has been implemented and the organization is “identifying emergency needs on the ground,” said American Red Cross spokeswoman Katie Wilkes.
Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is preparing to receive patients at Tabarre Hospital in Port-au-Prince, said MSF Education Adviser Tim Shenk.
Several Latin American countries also said they were preparing to support Haiti.
Chilean President Sebastian Piñera said on Twitter on Saturday his government had contacted Haitian authorities and was preparing to send aid. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador also said on Twitter he had instructed the National Coordination of Civil Protection and other departments such as Foreign Affairs, Navy, and Defense to provide assistance “immediately.”
The Panamanian Foreign Ministry has announced plans to send aid to the Dominican Republic soon, with President Luis Abinader saying he had instructed the Foreign Minister to summon his Haitian counterpart to “do whatever assistance we can.”
Colombian President Ivan Duque said the Air Force would be sent to Haiti on Sunday carrying a special task force to search and rescue.
“It will be 18 tons of resources at work: saving lives,” he said on Twitter on Saturday.
Other countries including Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela have also expressed their support for Haiti.


Priyanka Chopra

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