The death toll from Haiti’s magnitude-7.2 earthquake has risen to 1,297 people, with at least 5,700 people injured and thousands more displaced from their homes.
Thousands of structures were destroyed in Saturday’s earthquake, prompting urgent rescue efforts ahead of a probable deluge from an oncoming tropical cyclone.
Survivors in some locations were forced to wait in the open for help from overburdened hospitals in terrible temperatures.
People in the Caribbean island nation poured into the streets as the earthquake struck, seeking protection and assisting in the rescue of those trapped in the rubble of collapsed homes, hotels, and other facilities.
It wreaked havoc on the poorest country in the hemisphere, nearly razing some towns and generating landslides that delayed rescue efforts in two of the hardest-hit areas.
The calamity exacerbated Haitians’ predicament, which was already exacerbated by a coronavirus pandemic, a presidential assassination, and a wave of gang violence.
The epicenter of the tremor was around 125 kilometers west of Port-au-Prince, according to the US Geological Survey.
Tropical Storm Grace is expected to hit Haiti late Monday or early Tuesday, bringing torrential rainfall and worsening the widespread damage.
Aftershocks were felt throughout the day and into the night, when many people who were suddenly homeless or afraid of their broken homes toppling on them slept in the streets.
Some families in the seriously devastated seaside hamlet of Les Cayes retrieved their few possessions and slept on an open-air football pitch.
At a local street market on Sunday morning, people waited up to buy what little was available: bananas, avocados, and water.