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Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Death toll from Haiti quake soars, U.S. sends aid

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Death toll from Haiti quake soars, U.S. sends aid
Death toll from Haiti quake soars, U.S. sends aid

The death toll from a devastating earthquake in Haiti rose to over 700 on Sunday as rescue workers scrambled to find survivors buried under buildings a day after the 7.2 magnitude quake hit the island nation.

Lisa Bernhard produced this report.

The death toll from a devastating earthquake in Haiti rose to more than 700 on Sunday as rescue workers scrambled to find survivors under the rubble.

The 7.2 magnitude quake, which hit one day earlier, flattened hundreds of homes and buildings – with rescue efforts about to become more complicated by the arrival of Tropical Storm Grace, set to lash Haiti with heavy rains on Monday.

The Southwestern region of Haiti bore the brunt of the earthquake, especially in and around the city of Les Cayes.

Haiti is still recovering from the effects of another major quake 11 years ago, and reeling from the assassination of its president, Jovenel Moise, in July.

Some Haitians spent the weekend sleeping out in the open, traumatized by memories of the magnitude 7 quake in 2010 that struck closer to the capital, Port-au-Prince, and killed tens of thousands of people.

U.S. President Joe Biden in a statement said he was “saddened” by the latest catastrophe and authorized aid to Haiti.

The U.S. Coast Guard airlifted injured residents, including babies, off the island nation.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry – who was thrust to the forefront after the president’s death – stressed that the distribution of aid must be more organized than it was in 2010, when chaos and logistical confusion severely hampered efforts.

Haiti has long been politically unstable, the health crisis now raging against a backdrop of few medical resources, a lack of vaccines, and simmering street violence.

Elections following the death of Moise, already pushed beyond a September date, could be further delayed due to the destruction.

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