Roommates, conditions in Haiti continue to worsen five days after a massive earthquake struck the southwestern part of the Caribbean island. CNN reports that officials have estimated the death toll at 1,941 people while countless remain missing. Hospitals in the country are reportedly overwhelmed as nearly 10,000 survivors sustained injuries during the earthquake.
The 7.2 magnitude earthquake occurred on Saturday morning at about 8:30 a.m.– more 11.5 years after the 2010 earthquake. The recent earthquake measured 6.2 miles in depth and its epicenter spread across 7.5 miles.
To give context, the 2010 natural disaster reportedly killed more than 200,000 people with a 7.0 magnitude and destroyed nearly 300,000 buildings beyond repair.
“Little more than a decade on, Haiti is reeling once again,” United Nations Children’s Fund Executive Director Henrietta Fore said. “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 doses, despite requiring far more.”
Now, the island faces similar devastation. The UNICEF has also said that nearly 1.2 million people, including 540,000 children, have been impacted by the earthquake in some manner.
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According to Haiti’s Director of Civil Protection Dr. Claude Predtit, about 135,000 families are currently displaced by at least 75,000 destroyed homes.
Officials at the main hospital in one of the country’s cities, Jeremie, told CNN on Tuesday that it had 84 people awaiting treatment. Prior to the disaster, it serviced only about ten folks per day.
Now, with every bed full and some patients lying on the rubble-covered floors, a doctor has said “at least a third” of patients will either lose limbs or succumb to their injuries if they’re not transported to a better equipped facility.
To make matters worse, Haiti experienced strong winds and heavy rains on Monday night and Tuesday from Tropical Storm Grace. Destruction caused by the earthquake combined with recent weather conditions have made it difficult for officials and organizations to assess damages and provide needed aid.
This hectic time for the country comes just over a month after Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated at his home in Port-au-Prince. His wife was also shot, but survived after being treated for her injuries in the United States.
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