Huge Haiti quake yet another crisis for vulnerable nation on top of hunger, COVID-19 and political unrest
The powerful 7.2-magnitude quake that has rocked southern Haiti is yet another crisis that will impact millions of people in the vulnerable Caribbean nation, World Vision has warned.
"We are deeply concerned about the devastation that this earthquake causes in a country already hit by extreme poverty social and political unrest," said Marcelo Viscarra, National Director of World Vision in Haiti, the poorest nation in the Americas.
A powerful earthquake that killed more than 300,000 people in 2010 absolutely rattled the country, but this quake comes amid even tougher circumstances.
“But now, along with the effects of an earthquake whose damage has not been officially assessed, we have a pandemic and the threat of tropical storm Grace, which is expected to hit Haitian territory tomorrow, Sunday, August 15," Mr Viscarra said.
“In Haiti more than 60 per cent of the population lives in poverty, and millions of people live on less than $US2 a day. This situation will only complicate the precarious living conditions of people trying to cope with the socio-political tension after the assassination of the President, the still ongoing effects of the devastating 2010 earthquake and the current pandemic.”
World Vision has pre-positioned supplies to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to 6000 people. The organisation will also mobilise staff to the affected area (Les Cayes) 125km south of the capital, Port-au-Prince, to accurately estimate damages and the needs of the most affected families.
Unofficial reports indicate around 220 deaths, although the exact number has not been determined. There are also reports of thefts in homes affected by the earthquake. World Vision is coordinating with local civil authorities and the police in order to contribute to the protection of the most vulnerable children and their families.
"We are concerned by the limited capacity of attention of the authorities, who have their hands full with the care of the pandemic, and now the hospital centres are flooded with patients injured by the earthquake that struck at 8:30am local time Haiti”, Mr Viscarra said.
For more information or for interview requests, contact: Mike Bruce 0403 920 189 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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