Search for Haiti earthquake survivors continues as storm approaches

Rescuers in Haiti used heavy equipment and their bare hands Monday to search for survivors under buildings razed two days ago by a massive earthquake that killed more than 1,400 people, while an approaching storm threatened more suffering. .

Flash floods and landslides were possible as the front slammed into the Caribbean nation’s southwestern peninsula, which was hit hard by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that toppled thousands of buildings early Saturday morning.

Hospitals have been overwhelmed by the influx of injured patients and workers did not know how they could cope with Tropical Depression Grace.

Haiti’s civil protection agency on Monday gave a preliminary figure of 1,419 dead and 6,900 injured in the powerful earthquake that struck about 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The earthquake also destroyed more than 37,000 homes, authorities said.

“We’re really not doing well psychologically. We have no idea how we’re going to get through this,” said 26-year-old midwife Aline Cadet, who was helping at the hospital in the city of Puerto. Salut.

“There are women here who were pregnant but lost their baby because they fell or were injured,” he added.

According to the US National Hurricane Center, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, which share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, could expect five to 10 inches of rain from Grace, “with isolated maximum totals of 15 inches” in areas of the south until Tuesday.

“This heavy rain can lead to flash floods and urban flooding, and possible landslides,” the NHC warned.

Assassinated president

Residents faced the dilemma of staying outside to protect themselves from aftershocks or returning to damaged buildings to shelter from Grace’s heavy rain, which was soaking Haiti Monday afternoon.

The Port-Salut hospital made its call: patients being treated in a courtyard were brought into the building to protect themselves from the storm, despite the risks.

“The doctors have asked us to go inside tonight. It is not safe. There are still shaking, so we are outside,” said Wilfried Labaye, 41.

His wife Esperance Rose Nadine, 36, was sprawled on the ground next to him, with both legs broken when their home collapsed during the earthquake.

Haiti, still reeling from a massive 2010 earthquake that devastated the capital, Port-au-Prince, was already in shock over the assassination of its president last month when the disaster struck.

Some foreign aid has arrived, including specialized search teams from the United States, as well as 15.4 tons of food, medicine and water from Mexico.

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake in January 2010 left much of Port-au-Prince and nearby cities in ruins, killing more than 200,000.

More than 1.5 million Haitians were made homeless in that disaster, which also destroyed 60 percent of Haiti’s health system, leaving authorities and the international humanitarian community with a colossal challenge. (AFP)

The latest earthquake comes just over a month after President Jovenel Moise was assassinated at his home by a team of gunmen, shaking a country already battling poverty, spiraling gang violence and Covid. -19. (AFP)

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