- Title: Death toll from Haiti quake hits 1,297
- Date: 16th August 2021
- Summary: PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI (AUGUST 15, 2021) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** HAITIAN PRIME MINISTER ARIEL HENRY GETTING OUT OF VEHICLE HENRY ARRIVING AT NEWS CONFERENCE GENERAL OF NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Creole) HAITI CIVIL PROTECTION DIRECTOR, JERRY CHANDLER, SAYING: "We have recorded 1,297 deaths. 1,054 in the South, 119 in Grande'Anse, 122 in Nippes, and two in the North-East department. We have recorded 5,700 injured in the different departments I just mentioned. In total, 13,694 homes were destroyed by the earthquake. 30,000 families lost their homes." VARIOUS OF HENRY AT NEWS CONFERENCE GENERAL OF NEWS CONFERENCE AND HENRY WALKING TOWARDS PODIUM (SOUNDBITE) (Creole) HAITIAN PRIME MINISTER ARIEL HENRY, SAYING: "When I arrived in the south of the country, we saw the destruction. Many houses are destroyed. Rescue teams are working to find victims and survivors in the rubble. One thing I noticed was the dignity of the people despite the situation. They are affected but resilient. They fight to survive." GENERAL OF NEWS CONFERENCE HENRY LEAVING NEWS CONFERENCE LES CAYES, HAITI (AUGUST 15, 2021) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Creole) HAITIAN RESIDENT, SERGE CHERY, SAYING: "Our main concern is to get tents. We need 30,000 tents in the department. So far, we are trying to get tents. The answers should be according to what we need. We were not prepared to face this problem." DIGGER, RESCUERS AND FIREFIGHTERS OVER DEBRIS RESCUER GOING INTO HOLE TO SEARCH FOR SURVIVORS (SOUNDBITE) (Creole) UNIDENTIFIED HAITIAN RESIDENT, SAYING: "The whole area where I live is destroyed. There are many people dead; we don't know how many dead there are. We brought this child here to see if we can save his life." DIGGER OVER DEBRIS
- Embargoed: 30th August 2021 03:26
- Keywords: Hait Por-Au-Prince Prime Minister Ariel Henry disaster earthquake
- Location: PORT-AU-PRINCE, LES CAYES, HAITI
- City: PORT-AU-PRINCE, LES CAYES, HAITI
- Country: Haiti
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,South America / Central America,Earthquakes/Volcanoes/Tsunami
- Reuters ID: LVA001EQJ3IO7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The death toll from a devastating earthquake in Haiti rose to 1,297 on Sunday (August 15) as rescue workers scrambled to find survivors buried under buildings a day after the 7.2 magnitude quake and as a tropical storm bore down on the Caribbean nation.
The quake flattened thousands of homes and buildings in a Caribbean nation which is still clawing its way back from another major temblor 11 years ago and reeling from the assassination of its president last month.
Southwestern Haiti bore the brunt of the blow, especially in the region in and around the town of Les Cayes. Haiti's Civil Protection Agency said the toll from the disaster had climbed to 1,297 and the hospitals that were still functioning were struggling to cope as some 5,700 people were injured.
In the northwestern city of Jeremie, another badly hit area, doctors treated injured patients on hospital stretchers underneath trees and on mattresses by the side of the road, as healthcare centers have run out of space.
Churches, hotels, hospitals and schools were badly damaged or destroyed, while the walls of a prison were rent open by the violent shudders that convulsed Haiti. Some 13,694 houses were destroyed, the civil protection agency said, suggesting the toll could rise further.
In Les Cayes, a seafront town of some 90,000 people, rescuers in red hard hats and blue overalls pulled bodies from the tangled wreckage of one building, as a yellow mechanical excavator nearby helped to shift the rubble.
Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who flew to visit Les Cayes, praised the dignity shown by people there even in the midst of their suffering.
"They are affected but resilient. They fight to survive," he said, thanking international agencies and foreign governments for their support.
Many Haitians prepared on Sunday to spend a second night sleeping in the open, traumatized by memories of that magnitude 7 quake 11 years ago that struck far closer to the sprawling capital, Port-au-Prince.
At Port-au-Prince airport, international aid workers, doctors and rescue workers boarded flights to Les Cayes. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter ferried the wounded.
The rescue and aid efforts will be complicated by Tropical Depression Grace, which is expected to lash Haiti with heavy rainfall on Monday. Some 75 to 100 milliliters of rainfall was expected, which may trigger landslides and cause some rivers to flood, Haiti's Civil Protection Agency said.
Thousands of people sleeping in the streets would be exposed to torrential rains amid a rising risk of water-borne diseases.
The death toll is expected to rise as the telephone network has been down in more remote areas. In difficult-to-reach villages many houses were fragile and built on slopes vulnerable to landslides, said Alix Percinthe, from the ActionAid charity.
(Production: Herbert Villarraga, Robenson Sanon. Liamar Ramos)
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