The frantic search for survivors continues after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti. There are now 1297 confirmed deaths and 5700 injured. Thousands are homeless. The AP reports:
The devastation could soon worsen with the coming of Tropical Depression Grace, which is predicted to reach Haiti on Monday night. The civil protection agency said Haitians must expect strong winds, heavy rain, rough seas, landslides and flooding.
Officials said more than 7,000 homes were destroyed and nearly 5,000 damaged. Hospitals, schools, offices and churches were also affected.
Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry tweeted:
“As of this Monday, we will act with greater speed. Aid management will be speeded up. We are going to increase our energies tenfold to reach, in terms of assistance, the maximum number of victims possible.
The presence in the field of ministers and other government officials will be strengthened, with a view to better coordination of interventions and a gradual and more precise assessment of the situation. Faced with the emergency, there is no respite.”
With a state of emergency in place, President Joe Biden has authorized help from the United States as well.
🇭🇹 HAITI UPDATE: the search and rescue team (@ffxfirerescue & @VATF1) has arrived in Haiti to help search for survivors. The team includes 65 people, 4 canines + 52K pounds of tools & equipment. They’ll be joining our USAID disaster response team already on the ground. pic.twitter.com/Ufx9dcs9az
— USAID (@USAID) August 16, 2021
Port-au-Prince airport on Monday was bustling with medics and aid workers, with domestic and private charter flights filled with humanitarian teams and supplies headed south.
Access to the area has been complicated by months of political turmoil in Haiti, which has left gangs in control of key access routes to parts of the country.
The United Nations called for a “humanitarian corridor” to enable aid to pass through gang-held territories.
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