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Over 300 dead in Haiti as earthquake aftershocks the Caribbean

Haiti earthquake in August 2021
People stand next to a house destroyed following a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Les Cayes, Haiti August 14, 2021.

At least 306 people have died, with hundreds more missing after another devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck struck the Caribbean island of Haiti, adjoining the Dominican Republic, with widespread damage reducing towns and villages to rubble. Haiti earthquake.

Saturday’s, earthquake, with it’s epicentre in the south-west of the country struck at 8.30AM, approximately 5 miles from Petit Trou de Nippes, a small town 92 miles west of the country’s capital Port-au-Prince.

The tremor was a stark reminder of the devastation caused by the 2010 tragedy that left over 200,000 dead and hundreds of thousands homeless in what was the country’s worst quake in all time.

Speaking just after the tremor, Port-au-Prince resident Sephora Pierre Louis said “In my neighborhood, I heard people screaming. They were flying outside”. “At least they know to go outside. In 2010, they didn’t know what to do. People are still outside in the street”, adding that she was still in a state of shock.

Haiti Earthquake 14th August 2021
People stand in front of collapsed buildings in Jeremie, Haiti August 14, 2021. Courtesy of TWITTER @JCOMHaiti

Ariel Henry, the country’s Prime Minister has announced a state of emergency envisaged to last a month in the wake of the quake. Aftershocks could be felt throughout the Caribbean. Haiti earthquake.

Mr Henry called for solidarity, announcing on Twitter “L’Union fait la force”, being the motto “strength through unity”.

Speaking of the devastation, Mr Henry said that “the most important thing is to recover as many survivors as possible under the rubble. We have learned that the local hospitals, in particular that of Les Cayes, are overwhelmed with wounded, fractured people”.

The injured were taken, sometimes long distances to hospitals and Red Cross bases outside of affected areas for treatment.

Frantz Duval, editor-in-chief of Haiti’s Le Nouvelliste newspaper, reported on Twitter that two popular hotels in the twon of Les Cayes were destroyed and that local hospitals were stretched to breaking point.

Speaking of the quake, Mr Duval said “Slowly, strongly and for very long seconds the earth shook in Haiti on 14 August, 2021 around 8:30 am“. Earthquake in Haiti August 2021.

A number of countries have offered aid, with Biden setting up a US initiative to support Haiti through the tragedy. USAID will assess damage and assist in financing reconstruction.

The USGS warned that the earthquake is likely to result in thousands of fatalities, announcing that at least six aftershocks had been felt in the region, including one, shortly after the 8.30AM quake, of 5.1 magnitude.

Across the region, people can be seen desperately searching for loved ones and their belongings.

Leila Bourahla, the director of Save the Children based in Haiti announced it would take days to assess the damage but “it is clear that this is a massive humanitarian emergency”.

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