The death toll from Sunday’s powerful earthquake in Haiti has risen to more than 1,200 as crews dug up severely collapsed buildings for survivors in the Caribbean nation.
In Les Keys, as in other hard-hit cities on the Southwest Peninsula, the majority of the population slept in front of their homes at night – or what remained – amid fears of new aftershocks.
The streets were filled with the grinding of heavy debris from collapsed buildings, as well as the quiet sounds of people removing debris from their hands as they searched for the missing.
“Thank God and my phone, I’m alive,” said Marcel Francois, who was rescued from his collapsed two-story home in Les Keys.
His younger brother, Ayub Francois, said Marcel shouted, “Come save me, I’m under the concrete” … He told me he couldn’t breathe, that he was dying. “
Neighbors and Job spent hours pulling her and her 10-year-old daughter out of the rubble.
A magnitude 7.2 earthquake 100 miles (160 km) west of the densely populated capital, Port-au-Prince, killed at least 1,297 people when a massive 2010 earthquake shook the region.
The country’s Civil Protection Agency said in an update that 13,600 buildings were destroyed and more than 13,700 damaged, hundreds trapped in the rubble and more than 5,700 injured.
According to the US National Weather Service, rescue workers faced new pressure as they approached the tropical depression, raising fears of torrential rains, flooding and landslides late Monday.
The United States and other nations have pledged to help Haiti deal with the latest disaster.
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman spoke with Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry on Sunday and said the United States was already mobilizing resources to bolster the country’s emergency response, spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
USAID chief Samantha Power tweeted on Sunday that her agency had deployed a 65-member civilian search and rescue team equipped with “special equipment, tools and medical equipment” – already in Haiti. Included in the earthquake disaster response team.
The US Southern Command said it set up a joint military task force for Haiti on Sunday and deployed a team in the country to monitor the affected areas with aerial surveillance. Four helicopters were also dispatched to provide airlift support.
Haiti’s neighbor, the Dominican Republic, said it was sending 10,000 food rations and medical supplies. Mexico also sent a relief shipment. Cuba and Ecuador sent medical or search and rescue teams.
Chile, Argentina, Peru and Venezuela also offered assistance, as did the United Nations.
“We want to plan for a better adaptive response after the earthquake than in 2010,” Henry said.
A magnitude 7.0 earthquake in January 2010 left much of Port-au-Prince and nearby cities in ruins, killing more than 200,000 people.
The disaster displaced more than 1.5 million Haitians, destroying 60 percent of Haiti’s healthcare system, posing a major challenge to authorities and the international humanitarian community.
The latest quake comes a month after President Juan Moyes was assassinated in his home by a team of gunmen who had already shaken the country’s poverty-stricken country. 19 was surrounded.
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