The death toll from Saturday’s earthquake in Haiti has jumped to 1,419, officials said this week.
According to reports, the number of those injured is about 6,000, with many of those having to relocate from the hospital because of an approaching storm Monday night.
“We had planned to put up tents (in hospital patios), but we were told that could not be safe,” said Gede Peterson, director of Les Cayes General Hospital.
The magnitude 7.2 earthquake triggered landslides and damaged cities near Port-au-Prince in an area already struggling with the coronavirus pandemic, violence and poverty.
In July, the country also lost its president when he was killed in an assassination hit.
This week, Tropical Storm Grace dumped heavy rain over the area, further straining resources.
“We are working now to ensure that the resources we have are going to get to the places that are hardest hit,” said agency head Jerry Chandler.
At the hospital, hundreds of patients wait on stair steps and in corridors all over the building. Only three doctors were on call when the quake struck, according to The Associated Press.
A doctor at the hospital also told reporters that they were running low on pain killers, analgesics and steel pins.
“We are saturated, and people keep coming,” he said.
Said another doctor with the nonprofit Health Equity International: “Basically, they need everything.”
The earthquake destroyed more than 7,000 homes and damaged another 5,000, officials said. About 30,000 families are homeless.
“Little more than a decade on, Haiti is reeling once again,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “And this disaster coincides with political instability, rising gang violence, alarmingly high rates of malnutrition among children, and the COVID-19 pandemic – for which Haiti has received just 500,000 vaccine doses, despite requiring far more.
Haiti’s population is about 11 million people.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Richard Pierrin/Stringer
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.