Hasn’t Haiti seen enough troubles already this year? Not long ago their prime minister was assassinated, which led to civil unrest, and now they are facing death at the hands of a high magnitude earthquake.
A 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti in the early hours of Saturday morning, killing more than 300 people by early Saturday evening, while rescue personnel in the impacted areas attempt to find those injured or still missing.
According to the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake struck the area about 8:30 a.m. local time, some 90 miles west of the capital Port-au-Prince, at a depth of around 6 miles. Ariel Henry, Haiti’s prime minister, has proclaimed a month-long state of emergency.
Prime Minister Henry has said that he is deploying all available government resources to support victims in the impacted areas, as the nation’s civil protection agency continues to post messages on Twitter about the rising death toll and number of injured.
Aftershocks continue to hit some locations, with the strongest so far being a 5.2, causing major damage to roads, infrastructure, homes, and buildings. The quake was larger than the country’s huge 7.0 magnitude earthquake in 2010, which killed an estimated 220,000 people, and it comes as a further blow to inhabitants already mourning President Jovenel Mose’s assassination last month.
“We are afraid that this earthquake would add to the country’s existing problems, such as the deepening political stalemate following the president’s assassination, COVID, and food insecurity,” said Jean-Wickens Merone, a World Vision Haiti spokesman. The calamity struck two days before Tropical Storm Grace is set to hit the Caribbean island.
Despite the fact that the country is in an emergency, Prime Minister Henry assured reporters that he will not seek international assistance until the entire scope of the devastation is understood. Henry’s most recent tweet indicated that he was out evaluating the damage and that resources for victims “had been deployed since this am,” as of this writing.
A translation of his tweet said, “I am currently in the department of Grand’Anse to see the extent of the devastation in order to better coordinate government efforts on the ground.” “Since this morning, resources have been mobilized to provide help and assistance to the victims of this tragic earthquake.”