The Haitian government declared a state of emergency few hours after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the country last Saturday, leaving at least 1,297 people dead and more than 5,700 injured.
The affected countries include, The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States Minor Outlying Islands, and Cuba
The state of emergency is in effect for the Western Department, Southern Department, Nippes and Grand’Anse.
The earthquake struck at 8:30 a.m. about 10 kilometers deep, with its epicenter about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) northeast of Saint-Louis-du-Sud in the southwest part of the country. The location was about 60 miles west of the disastrous 7.0-magnitude earthquake in 2010 that killed an estimated 220,000 to 300,000 people.
Officials from the Haiti’s civil agency said, many of the deaths occurred in the south of the country, where 500 people are known to have died. The quake destroyed 2,868 homes and damaged another 5,410, . The destruction has also pushed hospitals to the brink and blocked roads that would carry vital supplies.
Prime Minister Ariel Henry said: “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.”
Saturday’s quake was far less damaging than the one in 2010. A United Nations reconnaissance mission to the affected areas found “less significant damages than initially expected,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on Sunday.
“The most urgent humanitarian needs are expected to be linked to the provision of medical assistance and water, sanitation and hygiene,” the organization said.