Mexico City, 19 August 2021 (dpa/MIA) – The death toll from the major earthquake that hit Haiti at the weekend has risen by almost 250 to 2,189, the country’s civil defence agency said on Wednesday evening as rescue and recovery efforts continued.
The number of people injured in the 7.2-magnitude quake that struck on Saturday morning also rose to over 12,200, while 332 people were still missing, the agency said in a tweet.
Four days after the quake, many survivors were still waiting for urgently needed support.
“There is a serious problem with the distribution of aid,” wrote journalist Nancy Roc on Twitter earlier on Wednesday.
So far, aid is only reaching the two largest towns in the affected area in the south-west of the Caribbean nation: Les Cayes and Jeremie.
Smaller communities were being neglected, with calls for help to the national authorities going unanswered, the newspaper Le Nouvelliste reported.
The paper cited Jerry Chandler, the head of the civil defence agency, as saying that the passage of tropical storm Grace through the region and the resulting bad weather had made the distribution of aid more difficult.
According to reports on social media, many places continued to lack the most basic necessities: food and medicine and tents.
Some 37,000 houses were destroyed and almost 47,000 buildings damaged in the quake.
According to UN children’s agency UNICEF, 1.2 million people were affected by the disaster.
The 7.2-magnitude quake struck on Saturday morning near the municipality of Saint-Louis-du-Sud, east of Les Cayes, at a depth of around 10 kilometres.
Haiti was ill-prepared for such as disaster, even after the devastating earthquake in 2010 that killed more than 220,000 people.
In addition, there is a deep political crisis that intensified after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise by a commando force in his residence on July 7.