The numbers continue to rise, which gradually reveal the extent of the suffering in Haiti after the earthquake. Everything is missing – and in many places no help has yet arrived.
Les Cayes – The confirmed death toll from Saturday’s Haiti earthquake rose by nearly 250 to 2,189.
Another 332 people were missing, the Haitian civil protection authority announced. At least 12,268 people were injured in the 7.2 magnitude quake on Saturday.
Urgent aid reached the affected region only slowly. According to local media reports, there were areas where the quake survivors were desperately waiting for support. In the affected region in the southwest of the Caribbean state, the essentials were missing.
As the government announced, more than ten trucks with relief supplies drove there on Wednesday. According to the UN, it had previously been negotiated that aid convoys would be allowed to use the main road between the capital Port-au-Prince and the south of the Caribbean state, which is controlled by gangs. Their struggles for territory paralyze parts of Port-au-Prince again and again and, according to the UN, drove around 15,000 people to flee in June alone.
The director of the Pan American Health Organization (Paho), Carissa Etienne, announced that the health facilities in the earthquake area were overloaded, 20 of them were damaged by the quake and four were destroyed. The need for medical personnel, medicine, equipment and patient transport is immense. Etienne called on the international community for help. Haiti’s already severely underfunded health system was already overstretched before the earthquake due to the corona pandemic, which has recently deteriorated.
The chief of civil defense, Jerry Chandler, admitted delays in the distribution of aid supplies on the radio station Magik9, as the newspaper “Le Nouvelliste” reported. He justified this with the difficult organization, which had been made even more difficult by the passage of the tropical storm “Grace” on Tuesday night. This had caused floods in some places and affected numerous survivors who slept outdoors.
The quake occurred on Saturday morning (local time) near the municipality of Saint-Louis-du-Sud at a depth of around ten kilometers. According to the civil defense, almost 53,000 houses were destroyed and a good 77,000 damaged. According to the UN Children’s Fund Unicef, 1.2 million people were affected by the disaster.
It hit a country in which many people live in dire poverty and which is particularly prone to natural disasters. The earthquake region was devastated by Hurricane “Matthew” in 2016 – more than 500 people died. In a magnitude 7.0 earthquake in January 2010, the center of which was near the densely populated capital, more than 220,000 people were killed. A large part of the funds earmarked for reconstruction did not reach the population, among other things because of corruption and waste. The country is also experiencing a deep political crisis, which was exacerbated by the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse on July 7th. dpa