Just one month after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, the country of Haiti is suffering from another crisis, a massive earthquake.
According to AP News, a 7.2 earthquake struck the southwestern region of Haiti, killing 304 people and injuring 1,800. Thousands of people trapped under the rubble and debris of fallen buildings were rescued and sent to hospitals, notably from rescue workers from the coastal town of Les Cayes. Prime Minister Ariel Henry has declared a one-month state of emergency and advised that he would not ask for international help until the full extent of the damages was known.
“The most important thing is to recover as many survivors as possible under the rubble. We have learned that the local hospitals, in particular that of Les Cayes, are overwhelmed with wounded, fractured people.”
“The needs are enormous. We must take care of the injured and fractured, but also provide food, aid, temporary shelter and psychological support.”
President Joe Biden has issued an immediate response and named the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power as the senior official coordinating the U.S. effort to help Haiti; the USAID will help with damage repair and rebuilding.
Countries like Argentina and Chile are also offering to help and are preparing to send humanitarian aid.
The widow of President Jovenel Moïse, Martine Moïse, issued a statement and called for solidarity on her Twitter account.
“Let’s put our shoulders together to bring solidarity. It is this connection that makes us strong and resilient. Courage. I am always by your side.”
Aftershocks from the earthquake are predicted to continue for the next month, which could lead to the collapse of more buildings badly damaged, according to civil engineer and geologist Claude Prepetit. And a spokesman for World Vision Haiti, Jean-Wickens Merone, advised that this natural disaster only worsens the conditions of the country.
“We’re concerned that this earthquake is just one more crisis on top of what the country is already facing, including the worsening political stalemate after the president’s assassination, COVID and food insecurity.”
Let’s send prayers to the country of Haiti. I will keep you all updated on any independent relief efforts that I come across.
Until Next Time…
Photo Credit: CNN
Sanon, E., & Webber, T. (2021, August 14). 7.2 magnitude earthquake hits Haiti; at least 304 killed. AP News. https://apnews.com/article/caribbean-haiti-earthquakes-e067bc2ba933fb40c6d98d34a41a7729.