The toll due to the earthquake in Haiti increased to 1,297 on Sunday, with thousands of structures in the Caribbean country reduced to rubble, AP reported. The 7.2 magnitude earthquake has left at least 5,700 people injured, with thousands more displaced from their homes.
The epicentre of the quake was about 125 kilometres west of Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince. The damage could also worsen with a tropical storm “Grace” predicted to hit the country late Monday or early Tuesday.
Healthcare centres in the country have run out of space and are struggling to treat those injured in the disaster. In the city of Jeremie, doctors provided treatment to patients on hospital stretchers placed under trees, and on mattresses along the roadside, Reuters reported.
Visuals shared by the United Nations Children’s Fund showed people searching for their family members under the rubble.
In the coastal town of Les Cayes, many people slept outside their houses on Sunday, fearing aftershocks, AP reported.
Several aftershocks have been felt on Saturday and Sunday since the major quake, which completely razed some towns and triggered landslides. A Haitian civil engineer and geologist has warned that more or less intensive aftershocks are to be expected for a month.
Prime Minister Ariel Henry said that the government has started sending medicines to healthcare facilities that have been hit by the earthquake, CNN reported. “For the people who need urgent special care, we have evacuated a certain number of them, and we will evacuate some more today [Sunday] and tomorrow [Monday],” he said.
The Haitian government declared a state of emergency for a month in response to the disaster.
Security concerns related to gang violence have hampered the supply of medical supplies and the transport of doctors to affected areas, according to Reuters. Bruno Maes, a representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund in Haiti, said that the UN was “calling for a humanitarian corridor” so that goods and people can be transported swiftly.
Meanwhile, tennis star Naomi Osaka pledged to donate her earnings from the Western & Southern Open next week to relief efforts for Haiti. Osaka’s father hails from the Caribbean country.
Haiti has suffered heavy casualties due to earthquakes on several occasions in recent years. In January 2010, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake killed an estimated 2,20,000 to 3,00,000 people in the Caribbean country.