WORLD NEWS

Death Toll Of Powerful Earthquake In Haiti Soars To 1,297

Aug 16, 2021, 5:21 AM

a boy is recovering  metals,Les cayes, haiti - august  15- 2021....

a boy is recovering metals,Les cayes, haiti - august 15- 2021.

LES CAYES, Haiti (AP) — The death toll from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Haiti climbed to 1,297 on Sunday, a day after the powerful temblor turned thousands of structures into rubble and set off frantic rescue efforts ahead of a potential deluge from an approaching storm.

Saturday’s earthquake also left at least 5,700 people injured in the Caribbean nation, with thousands more displaced from their destroyed or damaged homes. Survivors in some areas were forced to wait out in the open amid oppressive heat for help from overloaded hospitals.

The devastation could soon worsen with the coming of Tropical Depression Grace, which is predicted to reach Haiti on Monday night. The U.S. National Hurricane Center warned that although Grace had weakened from tropical storm strength Sunday, it still posed a threat to bring heavy rain, flooding and landslides.

The earthquake struck the southwestern part of the hemisphere’s poorest nation, almost razing some towns and triggering landslides that hampered rescue efforts in a country already struggling with the coronavirus pandemic, a presidential assassination and a wave of gang violence.

The epicenter was about 125 kilometers (78 miles) west of the capital of Port-au-Prince, the U.S. Geological Survey said, and aftershocks continued to jolt the area Sunday.

In the badly damaged coastal town of Les Cayes, Jennie Auguste lay on a flimsy foam mattress on the tarmac of the community’s tiny airport waiting for anything — space at a hospital or a small plane like the ones ferrying the wounded to the capital. She suffered injuries in the chest, abdomen and arm when the roof collapsed at the store where she worked.

“There has been nothing. No help, nothing from the government,” Auguste’s sister, Bertrande, said.

In scenes widespread across the region hit by the quake, families salvaged their few belongings and spent the night at an open-air football pitch. On Sunday, people lined up to buy what little was available: bananas, avocados and water at a local street market.

Some in the town praised God for surviving the earthquake, and many went to the cathedral, which appeared outwardly undamaged even if the priests’ residence was destroyed.

“We only have Jesus now,” said Johanne Dorcely, whose house was destroyed. “If it wasn’t for Jesus, I wouldn’t be able to be here today.”

Workers tore through rubble of collapsed buildings with heavy machinery, shovels and picks. After sundown, Les Cayes was darkened by intermittent blackouts, and many slept people outside again, clutching small transistor radios tuned to news, terrified of a possible repetition of Saturday’s strong aftershocks.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry has declared a one-month state of emergency for the whole country and said he was rushing aid to areas where towns were destroyed and hospitals were overwhelmed.

“The first convoys started following the coordination efforts of several ministers mobilized at the level of the National Emergency Center,” Henry told reporters Sunday. “We salute the dignity, the resilience effort of the victims and their ability to start over. From my observations, I deduce that Haitians want to live and progress. Let us unite to offer these people a living environment conducive to development.”

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said Sunday that humanitarian needs are acute, with many Haitians urgently needing health care, clean water and shelter. Children who have been separated from parents need protection, she said.

“Little more than a decade on, Haiti is reeling once again,” Fore said in a statement. “And this disaster coincides with political instability, rising gang violence, alarmingly high rates of malnutrition among children, and the COVID-19 pandemic — for which Haiti has received just 500,000 vaccine doses, despite requiring far more.”

The country of 11 million people received its first batch of U.S.-donated coronavirus vaccines only last month via a United Nations program for low-income countries.

Haiti’s Office of Civil Protection said more than 7,000 homes were destroyed and nearly 5,000 damaged. Hospitals, schools, offices and churches were also affected.

Medical workers from across the region were scrambling to help as hospitals in Les Cayes started running out of space to perform surgeries.

“Basically, they need everything,” said Dr. Inobert Pierre, a pediatrician with the nonprofit Health Equity International, which oversees St. Boniface Hospital, about two hours from Les Cayes.

“Many of the patients have open wounds and they have been exposed to not-so-clean elements,” added Pierre, who visited two hospitals in Les Cayes — one with some 200 patients, the other with around 90. “We anticipate a lot of infections.”

Pierre’s medical team was taking some patients to St. Boniface to undergo surgery, but with just two ambulances, they could transport only four at a time.

Small planes from a private firm and the Florida-based missionary service Agape Flights landed at the Port-Au-Prince airport Sunday carrying about a half dozen injured from the Les Cayes area. Young men with bandages and a woman were hoisted on stretchers to waiting Haitian Red Cross ambulances.

Silvestre Plaza Rico, who was supervising one of the volunteer flights, said rescue planes had made several airlifts of about a half dozen injured victims each on Saturday. “There were many, many, many, from different towns,” Plaza Rico said.

The earthquake struck just over a month after President Jovenel Moïse was shot to death in his home, sending the country into political chaos. His widow, Martine Moïse, who was seriously wounded in the attack, posted a message on Twitter calling for unity among Haitians: “Let’s put our shoulders together to bring solidarity.”

Shortly after the earthquake, Henry said he wanted “structured solidarity” to ensure the response was coordinated to avoid the confusion that followed the devastating 2010 earthquake, when aid was slow to reach residents after.

U.S. President Joe Biden named USAID Administrator Samantha Power to oversee the U.S effort to help Haiti. She announced Sunday that USAID was sending a search and rescue team from Virginia at the request of Haiti’s government. The 65-person team will bring specialized tools and medical supplies, she said on Twitter.

Working with USAID, the U.S. Coast Guard said a helicopter was transporting medical personnel from the Haitian capital to the quake zone and evacuating the injured back to Port-au-Prince. Lt. Commander Jason Nieman, a spokesman, said another helicopter was being sent from the Bahamas, along with other aircraft and ships.

Already on the scene were several members of Cuba’s 253-member health care mission to Haiti, and the socialist nation’s state media showed photos of them giving first aid to victims injured by the quake.

The North Carolina-based aid group Samaritan’s Purse announced it would fly 13 disaster response specialists and 31 tons of emergency supplies to Haiti. Those include shelter materials and water filtration units.

Humanitarian workers said gang activity in the seaside district of Martissant, just west of the Haitian capital, was complicating relief efforts.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Haiti’s southern peninsula is a “hotspot for gang-related violence,” where humanitarian workers have been repeatedly attacked.

The agency said the area has been “virtually unreachable” over the past two months because of road blocks and security concerns. But it said late Sunday that local officials negotiated with gangs in the seaside district of Martissant to allow two humanitarian convoys a day to pass through the area.

Anna Jefferys, spokeswoman for the U.N. agency, said the first convoy passed through Sunday with government and U.N. personnel. The U.N.’s World Food Program plans to send food supplies via trucks to southern Haiti on Tuesday, she added.

Haiti, where many live in tenuous circumstances, is vulnerable to earthquakes and hurricanes. A magnitude 5.9 earthquake in 2018 killed more than a dozen people.

The magnitude 7.0 quake of 2010 hit closer to densely populated Port-au-Prince and caused widespread destruction. Haiti’s government put the death toll at more than 300,000, while a report commissioned by the U.S. government placed it between 46,000 and 85,000.

___

Associated Press writers Collin Binkley in Boston; Trenton Daniel in New York; Regina Garcia Cano in Mexico City and Colleen Barry in Milan contributed to this report.

KSL 5 TV Live

World News

Kathy Brandel and Ralph Hendry, from Virginia, were spending the winter cruising the Eastern Caribb...

Sharif Paget, Chris Boyette and Polo Sandoval, CNN

2 Americans believed dead after yacht allegedly hijacked in Grenada

The family of two Americans who may have been killed after prison escapees allegedly hijacked their yacht in Granada are clinging to hope the couple might be found alive.

5 hours ago

Placards bearing portraits of Israeli hostages held in Gaza are lifted during a rally calling for t...

Camila DeChalus, Sam Fossum and Alex Marquardt, CNN

US says ‘understanding’ reached at Gaza hostage talks but negotiations continue

Negotiators have come to an “understanding” on the broad contours of a potential deal to release hostages held by Hamas in exchange for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told CNN Sunday.

6 hours ago

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrives ahead of a press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunda...

Associated Press

31,000 Ukrainian troops killed since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Zelenskyy says

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Sunday that 31,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed in action in the two years since Russia launched its full-scale invasion.

8 hours ago

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with his confidants for the 2024 election at Gos...

Rob Picheta, CNN

Russia’s presidential election is nearing. We already know who the winner will be

MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) — Russia is nearing a presidential election that is all but certain to extend Vladimir Putin’s rule throughout this decade and into the 2030s. The vast majority of votes will be cast over three days from 15 March, though early and postal voting has already begun, including in occupied parts of Ukraine […]

12 hours ago

A woman reacts as she came to lay flowers paying the last respect to Alexei Navalny at the Memorial...

Emma Burrows and Joanna Kozlowska, The Associated Press

The body of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been handed over to his mother, aide says

The body of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been handed over to his mother, a top aide to Navalny said Saturday on his social media account.

1 day ago

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander...

Susie Blann, The Associated Press

Western leaders rally around Kyiv to mark 2 years since Russia’s full-scale invasion

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed Western leaders to Kyiv Saturday to mark the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion, as Ukrainian forces run low on ammunition and foreign aid hangs in the balance.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Death Toll Of Powerful Earthquake In Haiti Soars To 1,297