Naomi Osaka, a tennis star, stated on Saturday that she will contribute her winnings from the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati to relief efforts in Haiti, her father’s homeland, following the tragic earthquake that struck the island nation.
Following the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that slammed the Caribbean island on Saturday, at least 1,297 people have been reported dead, with more than 5,700 injured. The country’s civil protection service announced on Sunday that 1,054 of the 1,297 fatalities occurred in the South administrative zone, 119 in Grand’Anse, 122 in Nippes, and two in the Northwest.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake struck 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) northeast of Saint-Louis du Sud, on Haiti’s southern Tiburon Peninsula, at a shallow depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).
Following Saturday’s natural calamity, Osaka turned to Twitter to express her condolences to the Haitian people as well as her determination to assist those affected. “It truly stings to watch all of the devastations in Haiti, and I feel like we can’t seem to get a break,” the 23-year-old shared. “I’m about to compete in a tournament this week, and I’ll donate the entire prize pool to Haiti relief efforts. I know our ancestors’ blood is strong, and we will continue to rise.”
Earthquakes and hurricanes pose a threat to Haiti. In 2018, a magnitude 5.9 earthquake devastated the impoverished country, killing more than a dozen people. A magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck the capital two years later, destroying much of the city and killing over 200,000 people.
Saturday’s earthquake came just weeks after President Jovenel Moise was slain, causing political upheaval in a country that has battled to tackle poverty and inequality.
“We are afraid that this earthquake will exacerbate 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 spokesman for World Vision Haiti, in a statement.