Haiti was hit by an earthquake on August 14. The epicenter was 6 km from L’Asile, Haiti. It affected many other countries namely The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States Minor Outlying Islands, and Cuba.
On Sunday, the death count jumped to over 1,200 as crews dug through the collapsed buildings saviours in the Caribbean nation still reeling from its president’s assassination.
“Thanks to God and also to my phone, I’m alive,” said Marcel Francois, who was rescued from his collapsed two-story home in hard-hit Les Cayes.
His younger brother Job Francois said a desperate-sounding Marcel had called to say, “‘Come save me, I’m under the concrete’… He told me he couldn’t breathe, that he was dying.”
Rescuers are now facing pressure as the Tropical Depression Grace is approaching, raising fears of torrential rainfall, flash floods and mudslides from Monday, according to the US National Weather Service.
The United States and other nations have pledged to help Haiti cope with this latest disaster.
USAID head Samantha Power tweeted Sunday that her agency had deployed a 65-person urban search and rescue team — equipped with “specialized tools, equipment & medical supplies” — to join an earthquake disaster response team already in Haiti.
Haiti’s neighbour country, the Dominican Republic said it was shipping 10,000 food rations and medical equipment. On the other hand, Mexico also sent an aid shipment. Cuba and Ecuador dispatched medical or search-and-rescue teams for help. Other countries including Chile, Argentina, Peru and Venezuela also offered help, as did the United Nations.
“We want to plan a better adapted response than in 2010 after the earthquake — all aid coming from abroad should be coordinated by the Civil Protection agency,” said Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry.
A 7.0-magnitude quake in January 2010 left much of Port-au-Prince and nearby cities in ruins, killing more than 200,000.
More than 1.5 million Haitians were made homeless in that disaster, which also became the reason of the destruction of 60 percent of Haiti’s healthcare system, leaving island authorities and the international humanitarian community with a colossal challenge.
This earthquake and president’s assassination has shaken this already poverty-struck country.
About the assassination, Police say they have arrested 44 people in connection with the killing.