Haiti’s earthquake leaves at least 1,297 people dead

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On Saturday 14th August, a powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti. The death toll went up to 1,297, and 5,700 people were found injured.

After the disaster, hospitals have been overloaded and survivors are sheltering on the streets or football pitches. Thousands have lost their homes by having it completely destroyed or badly damaged by the earthquake.

The earthquake struck the south-western part of the western hemisphere’s poorest nation. Homes, churches and school were all flattened, and the hospitals left are overwhelmed with the number of patients and supplies.

A tropical storm is expected to reach Haiti Monday night, which could bring heavy rain, flooding and landslides, causing even further damage.

The Prime Minister Ariel Henry declared a month-long state of emergency. He said on Saturday, “The most important thing is to recover as many survivors as possible under the rubble. We have learned that the local hospitals, in particular that of Les Cayes, are overwhelmed with wounded, fractured people.”

US President Joe Biden said he has authorised an “immediate US response” through USAID. The neighbouring Dominican Republic has offered to send food and medical equipment. Cuba also reportedly deploying more than 250 doctors.

In 2010, the earthquake in Haiti was at a magnitude of 7, making this most recent one more powerful. However, the death toll was up to 200,000 people, which is a big difference to the current number of deaths recorded.

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