Saturday’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake destroyed more than 60,000 homes and killed nearly 2,000 people.
The head of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, is reaching out to the people of Haiti, days after the Caribbean nation was hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake It killed nearly 2,000 people and left thousands homeless.
In a tweet on Wednesday, when the nation was again threatened Faced with the prospect of heavy rains from Tropical Storm Grace, Guterres said: “You are not alone. We are by your side in these difficult times. “
“The UN continues to assist those affected by Saturday’s deadly earthquake with humanitarian aid, including medical supplies and medical care, clean water, emergency shelter and more,” he wrote.
Saturday’s earthquake destroyed more than 60,000 homes and damaged 76,000 more, leaving Haitians living in temporary shelters, some of which were washed away by rains and landslides from the subsequent tropical storm that has further hampered relief efforts. .
The UN children’s agency UNICEF said more than half a million children have been affected by the disaster.
Rescue efforts have also been hampered by political chaos a month after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in a country still recovering from an 11-year-old earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people.
The Haitian government has declared a one-month state of emergency in all four provinces. affected by the earthquake, and many residents complain that they lack the most basic types of aid, such as food, clean water and shelter from the rain.
My message to the people of Haiti:
You are not alone. We are by your side in these difficult times.
The @TO continues to assist those affected by Saturday’s deadly earthquake with humanitarian aid, including medical supplies and medical care, clean water, emergency shelter and more.
– António Guterres (@antonioguterres) August 18, 2021
“No one from the government has come here. Nothing has been done, ”Roosevelt Milford, a pastor who appealed for help via local radio waves, told The Associated Press news agency on behalf of the homeless in the coastal town of Les Cayes.
“We need help,” he said.
‘Better wet than dead’
Meanwhile, the high level of crime has forced some residents to create their own security teams and forced those offering help to negotiate with armed groups to reach some of those in need.
The United States has chartered eight military helicopters from Honduras to conduct medical evacuation efforts.
The USS Arlington, a US Navy transport ship, will also arrive in Haiti on Wednesday with a surgical team on board, the Pentagon Southern Command said.
Latin American countries such as Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela have also sent food, medicine and supplies, while the United States also sent supplies and search and rescue teams.
The UN, for its part, has allocated $ 8 million in emergency aid funds to Haiti after the earthquake.
Still, the situation remains precarious.
Speaking to the AFP news agency from Les Cayes, Natacha Lormira said residents were afraid to take shelter under heavy material, fearing further collapse.
“I don’t want to hide under a gallery or under a corner of a wall because we have seen people die under the wall panels,” he said.
“We have resigned ourselves to the fact that it is easier to be wet than dead.”