#Update: Officials in Haiti have confirmed at least 724 people are dead after a powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit the Caribbean nation on Saturday.
Rescuers are picking through rubble in a desperate search for any survivors.
Homes, churches and schools were among buildings flattened in the quake. Some hospitals were left overwhelmed and in need of supplies.
An unknown number of people are missing and at least 2,800 people have been injured, officials say.
Prime Minister Ariel Henry said that more than 1,800 people were injured, the country’s civil protection service,
“When it comes to medical needs, this is our biggest urgency.
We have started to send medications and medical personnel to the facilities that are affected. For the people who need urgent special care, we have evacuated a certain number of them, and we will evacuate some more today and tomorrow.”
An administrator at the Hopital Saint Antoine told CNN,
“There are a lot of people coming in — a lot of people. We don’t have enough supplies.”
According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake was about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) northeast of Saint-Louis-du-Sud and 10 kilometers deep,
The first lady of Haiti, Martine Moise said,
“The initial information that I have received from Grand’Anse is heart-wrenching,
It hurts my heart for the kids, the mothers, the elderlies, the handicaps, my friends, and all the victims of this earthquake. My brothers and sisters, we have to put our shoulders together to come together to demonstrate our solidarity.
It is our togetherness that makes up our strength and resilience.”
Videos posted on social media offer a glimpse of the widespread destruction. One from Les Cayes shows a street strewn with rubble and what is left of a number of buildings.
Haiti is now in the cone of Tropical Storm Grace, and can expect tropical storm-force winds and heavy rain that could lead to flash flooding Monday into Tuesday, CNN Meteorologist Haley Brink said. Heavy rain could lead to localized flooding and mudslides across the region.
A tropical storm watch is issued for Haiti after one was issued for the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti.
Good morning all! Grace is still a tropical storm. Her path still is projected to stay away from Jamaica and head to Haiti & the Dominican Republic then Cuba. Her outerbands could affect us when she is near Cuba though because as you can see she is very large, so stay alert. pic.twitter.com/SC0FCAem0N— Weather Jamaica (@weatherjamaica) August 15, 2021
“Along with the effects of an earthquake whose damage has not been officially quantified, we add the pandemic, and the stalking of tropical storm Grace, which is expected to touch Haitian territory tomorrow Sunday, August 15,” Marcelo Viscarra, Director World Vision #Haiti. pic.twitter.com/4bRmN45hLP— World Vision LAC (@WorldVisionLAC) August 15, 2021