As storm looms, medics rush to hospitals overrun by Haiti quake Reuters through


© Reuters. A heavy machine removes particles from a home after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Les Cayes, Haiti August 15, 2021. REUTERS/Estailove St-Val


By Laura Gottesdiener and Ricardo Arduengo

LES CAYES, Haiti (Reuters) – Medical doctors and support staff rushed on Monday to get flights to southwestern Haiti forward of a looming storm, with hospitals within the devastated space unable to deal with casualties from a significant earthquake that killed a minimum of 1,297 individuals within the Caribbean nation.

Saturday’s 7.2 magnitude quake introduced down 1000’s of properties and buildings within the deeply impoverished nation, which continues to be recovering from one other main temblor 11 years in the past and the assassination of its president, Jovenel Moise, final month.

The areas in and across the metropolis of Les Cayes – some 150 km (93 miles) west of the capital Port-au-Prince – suffered the largest hit, placing huge pressure on native hospitals, a few of which have been badly broken by the quake.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry stated there was no time to lose.

“From this Monday, we are going to transfer sooner. Help provision goes to be accelerated,” he wrote on Twitter. “We are going to multiply efforts tenfold to succeed in as many victims as potential with support.”

Port-au-Prince airport on Monday was bustling with medics and support staff, with home and personal constitution flights stuffed with humanitarian groups and provides headed south.

Along with harm to some roads within the space from the earthquake, entry to Les Cayes has been difficult by months of political turmoil in Haiti, which has left gangs in command of key entry routes to elements of the nation.

The United Nations known as for a “humanitarian hall” to allow support to move by way of gang-held territories.

At Les Cayes airport, a gentle stream of ambulances arrived, bringing the severely injured from close by areas, a Reuters witness stated. Casualties have been carried on stretchers to small plane and a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter to be taken to Port-au-Prince, the place hospital providers remained extra intact.

Jeanette Pierre, whose cousin died within the earthquake, stood close to the runway tarmac subsequent to her 71-year-old father Pierre Ender, who was on an intravenous drip with bandages on his two damaged legs, and her mom, who had one damaged leg.

Each have been caught underneath falling masonry when their home collapsed through the quake.

“We went to the hospital with the opposite victims, however there weren’t sufficient docs to take care of us,” stated their daughter. “Now we’re hoping to get to Port-au-Prince for remedy.”

With the phone community down in additional distant areas and 1000’s injured, the loss of life toll is anticipated to rise additional, support staff and officers stated. In difficult-to-reach villages, many homes have been fragile and constructed on slopes weak to landslides, stated Alix Percinthe of the ActionAid charity.

The catastrophe additionally threw into confusion plans to carry presidential elections in November to attract a line underneath the political confusion since Moise was assassinated on July 7.


Help staff have been hurrying to beat the arrival of Tropical Despair Grace, which early on Monday was shifting west-northwest off the southern coast of Hispaniola, the island that Haiti shares with the neighboring Dominican Republic.

Based on projections by the U.S. Nationwide Hurricane Middle (NHC), Grace will move proper by way of areas instantly hit by the quake, and will douse them with as much as 15 inches (38 cm) of rain in some locations, presenting a threat of flash floods and mudslides.

Skies over Port-au-Prince have been nonetheless clear early on Monday.

Many Haitians who misplaced their properties have been sleeping outdoor, many traumatized by reminiscences of a magnitude 7 quake 11 years in the past that struck far nearer to Port-au-Prince, the capital, killing greater than 200,000 individuals, in accordance with the United Nations.

Hundreds of individuals sleeping within the streets can be uncovered to rains amid a rising threat of waterborne ailments, reminiscent of cholera, in accordance with Jerry Chandler, the pinnacle of Haiti’s Civil Safety Company.

“We do have a severe subject,” Chandler stated on Sunday.

He stated boats and helicopters have been getting used to usher in support, however the authorities was working to determine secure entry by street. Preliminary provides have made it by way of by land.

In Jeremie, to the northwest of Les Cayes, docs have been pressured to deal with injured sufferers on hospital stretchers beneath timber and on mattresses by the facet of the street.

Church buildings, motels and faculties have been additionally significantly broken or ruined within the quake. Some 13,694 homes have been destroyed, the civil safety company stated, and the toll might rise additional.

In Les Cayes, a seafront city of some 100,000 individuals, rescuers in pink onerous hats and blue overalls pulled our bodies from the tangled wreckage of 1 constructing, as a yellow mechanical excavator close by helped to shift the rubble.

Close by nations rushed to ship meals and medicines. Colombia dispatched search and rescue personnel. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stated on Monday morning his nation would proceed to supply assist to Haiti.

America despatched very important provides and deployed a 65-member city search-and-rescue group with specialised tools, stated Samantha Energy, the administrator of the US Company for Worldwide Growth (USAID).