Haiti can’t catch a break.
Just a month after the assassination of its president, the island nation of Haiti, has yet again been struck by a catastrophic earthquake. The island on Saturday 14th August, was hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake at around 8.30 am. The devastating earthquake has left hundreds dead, and as rescue is underway, the number is expected to rise to thousands. Hospitals are stretched thin, and some injured people are receiving healthcare in broad daylight. The unfortunate incident has prompted the acting Prime Minister of Haiti, Ariel Henry, to declare a state of emergency.
Saturday’s earthquake comes as the country tries to recover from the 2010 earthquake. An earthquake left an estimated 250,000 people dead. Like the 2010 earthquake, Saturday’s earthquake follows the same fault line, but unlike that earthquake, the recent earthquake is 78 miles from the nation’s capital, Cape-Au-Prince. However, its effects were still felt there and in the neighboring countries of Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic.
The devastation caused by the earthquake is vast; buildings lie in piles of dust and debris and as people look for their relatives. As seen on Social Media images, survivors are working hard to rescue those still trapped in the rubble. Which begs the question, where is the Haitian Government?
With aftershocks of magnitude five being experienced, the rescue has not been easy, to say the least. The US’s president, Joe Biden, has sent USAID president to oversee the rescue.
And it seems that it will get worse before it gets betters. There is another disaster brewing in the ocean. Grace the Tropical Storm is expected to make landfall this Monday and Tuesday. Haiti is expected to receive 2-inch rain and gusts of wind that will really test any rescue efforts. The storm will affect rescue missions and poses a risk of landslides, and floods near the epicenter are a possibility. According to the National Hurricane Center, the tropical storm has put the entire coast of Haiti under a tropical storm watch-the storm is expected to hit within 48 hours.
On top of the political unrest, the dire economic crisis, Haiti is facing a humanitarian crisis. One that will be difficult to come out from seeing that the country is short on resources and is heavily dependent on foreign assistance.