(HAITI) #Earthquake & Tropical Storm Grace Report: At least 1,941 people are known to have died in Saturday’s powerful earthquake – a rise of more than 500 on the previous figure, officials say as rescue efforts were hampered with arrival of torrential rains on Tuesday #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.18: 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 UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) representative in the country.Buildings in Les Cayes were destroyed by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake…..

#AceDailyNews says Haiti #Earthquake: Death toll reaches nearly 2,000 & 10,000 people have been injured, and many are still missing after the the 7.2-magnitude tremor and rescue work has been hampered by heavy rains brought this week by Tropical Storm #Grace to the Caribbean nation and the UN says about 500,000 children now have limited or no access to shelter, safe water and food UNICEF says half a million children affected …

Rescuers search the rubble for survivors in Les Cayes, Haiti. Photo: 17 August 2021
There are fears that the death toll will rise further

Tens of thousands of people left homeless by the quake had to decide whether to brave the storm under flimsy tarpaulins or risk returning into buildings damaged by the tremor and smaller aftershocks.

The south-west of Haiti appears to have suffered the worst of the damage from the quake, especially around the city of Les Cayes. 

“Yesterday [Tuesday] evening, I took shelter near a church, but when I heard the ground shake again, I ran to return here,” city resident Magalie Cadet was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

She said so few structures remained standing that people had to relieve themselves on the city streets.

Some hospitals were left overwhelmed and in need of supplies, as medics struggled to treat the injured.

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The earthquake compounds problems facing the impoverished nation, which is already reeling from a political crisis following the assassination of its president last month

Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who is in power until fresh presidential election can be held, has declared a month-long state of emergency and urged the population to “show solidarity”. 

Haiti has been hit by a series of natural disasters over the past years, including Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

The deadliest was the 2010 earthquake which killed more than 200,000 people and caused extensive damage to the country’s infrastructure and economy.

Over half a million children affected by Haiti earthquake

Torrential rains are hampering relief efforts

17 August 2021

Children oversee an excavation in the city of Les Cayes, Haiti

UNICEF/UN0502973/Harry RouzierChildren oversee an excavation in the city of Les Cayes, Haiti on 15 August 2021, following the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck on 14 August 2021.

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PORT-AU-PRINCE / PANAMA CITY, 17 August 2021 – UNICEF estimates that about 1.2 million people, including 540,000 children, have been affected by the powerful earthquake that hit Haiti on Saturday.

The hardest hit departments of South, Nippes and Grand’Anse are now being drenched by Tropical Depression Grace, which is further disrupting access to water, shelter, and other basic services. Flooding and mudslides are likely to worsen the situation of vulnerable families and further complicate the humanitarian response.

Search and rescue efforts are under way, with official reports of over 1,400 deaths and 7,000 injured. More than 84,000 houses have been damaged or destroyed, along with public infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and bridges.

“Last night, I saw strong winds and heavy rainfall strike the same areas already affected by the earthquake,” said Bruno Maes, UNICEF’s Representative in Haiti, who is currently in Les Cayes. “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.”

“Right now, about half a million Haitian children have limited or no access to shelter, safe water, health care and nutrition,” said Maes.

Criminal violence and insecurity complicate the humanitarian response, and the main road from Port-au-Prince to the south of the country is controlled by gangs. Nevertheless, UNICEF was able reach affected areas with medical supplies within hours of the earthquake. A UNICEF truck delivered six medical kits to three hospitals in Les Cayes, with enough supplies – including gloves, painkillers, antibiotics and syringes – to treat 30,000 earthquake victims over three months.

UNICEF and partners are distributing tarpaulins for emergency shelter, latrines and showers; water reservoirs for safe water distribution; and hygiene kits including water treatment tablets, soap, menstrual hygiene material, and jerrycans.

In the courtyard of one hospital, UNICEF installed tents to shelter patients who feared the building could collapse.

Additional supplies, including education and recreational kits will be rapidly mobilized, and UNICEF is planning community-based engagement activities to prevent family separation and to ensure protection and psychosocial support for children.

UNICEF is working closely with the government and partners to carry out rapid assessments of children’s needs. UNICEF estimates that it will need US$15 million to respond to the most urgent needs of at least 385,000 people including 167,000 children under the age of five for a period of eight weeks. This initial funding requirement will be reviewed and adjusted in the coming weeks as the impact on children and families becomes clearer.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Aug.18: 2021:

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