7.2 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Haiti, Kills Hundreds
The natural disaster comes as the country is embroiled in political turmoil.
August 14, 2021 at 6:49 pm
The number of reported casualties rapidly increased throughout the weekend as search and rescue personnel continue to assess the catastrophe that unfolded about 7.5 miles northeast of Saint-Louis-du-Sud. Significant damage to homes, roads and infrastructure has also been reported while doctors are being overwhelmed with patients.
"There are a lot of people coming in — a lot of people," an administrator at Hospital Saint Antoine told CNN. "We don't have enough supplies."
A pair of 5.2 and 5.1 magnitude aftershocks also struck the country later in the morning. CNN Meteorologist Haley Brink said Haiti can expect tropical storm-force winds and heavy rain that could lead to flash flooding early next week. There is also a possibility of heavy rain leading to flooding and mudslides.
"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," Jean-Wickens Merone, a spokesman with World Vision Haiti, said in a statement.
Merone said the tremors lasted more than five to ten seconds in Port-au-Prince, about 100 miles from Saint-Louis-du-Sud. The spokesman added that both sides of his house were shaking.
While Prime Minister Ariel Henry declared a state of emergency, USAID disaster experts are in Haiti to assess the damage.
— USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (@USAIDSavesLives) August 14, 2021
The latest disaster in Haiti comes more than 10 years after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated the country, killing up to 300,000 people and injuring many more. According to the New York Times, Saturday's earthquake occurred on the same fault line as the 2010 quake.