A 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti on, August 14, leaving more than 2,100 people dead and thousands more injured.
The earthquake’s epicenter was in the country’s southwest, about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) northeast of Saint-Louis-du-Sud, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).
Haiti is still dealing with fallout from an earthquake in 2010 that killed an estimated 220,000 to 300,000 people. The assassination of President Jovenel Moise last month, which has not yet been solved or properly explained, has added further instability to a country in crisis.
Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry promised to accelerate aid and rescue efforts. Haiti relies heavily on donor countries and organizations for relief.
That Saturday’s quake knocked down tens of thousands of buildings in the poorest country in the Americas, which is still recovering from a temblor 11 years ago that killed over 200,000 people. Aside from the dead, the latest quake also injured at least 9,915, with many people still missing or under the rubble, the civil protection service said on Tuesday afternoon.
Relief efforts were already complicated due to political turmoil and difficult road access from the capital to the south due to gang control of key points. Flash flooding and landslides in the wake of Tropical Storm Grace, which by Tuesday afternoon had continued on past Jamaica, exacerbated the situation.
“Countless Haitian families who have lost everything due to the earthquake are now living literally with their feet in the water due to the flooding,” said Bruno Maes, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative in the country.
“Right now, about half a million Haitian children have limited or no access to shelter, safe water, healthcare and nutrition.”
The United Nations said it had allocated $8 million in emergency funds to provide relief for affected people.
Latin America countries including Venezuela, Chile, Mexico, Panama, Colombia and the neighboring Dominican Republic sent food, medicine and supplies. The United States also dispatched supplies and search and rescue teams.
Although criminal gangs have been blocking access roads for months, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs said “successful negotiations” had made it possible for a convoy to reach Les Cayes.