Already bereaved by floods, the country hit by a deadly earthquake

Natural disasters plague Haiti. An earthquake killed at least four people and injured 36 in the West on Tuesday, Civil Protection announced, as the country is already facing deadly floods.

The earthquake, of magnitude 4.9 according to the American Institute of Geophysics (USGS), occurred shortly after 5 a.m. about 9 km from the coast in the southwestern peninsula of this Caribbean country regularly hit by destructive earthquakes.

” I lost everything “

In the city of Jérémie, many houses are cracked, while the few houses destroyed were clearly built without respecting construction standards. “I don’t know what to do,” laments Katiana Pierre, a 19-year-old woman who lost her husband and little sister in the disaster. Three of the deceased “are members of the same family and were killed because of the collapse of their house”, specifies for her part Christine Monquélé, head of Civil Protection in the department of Grand’Anse. The majority of the victims live in the Sainte Hélène district, a poor district of Jérémie.

“At dawn, I heard a deafening noise. My wife, with a start, asked me to fetch the children from their room. With the help of neighbors, I was able to save the two children, but unfortunately my wife died. The house was completely destroyed. I lost everything, ”says a forty-year-old man in his hospital bed, in a video shared by the online media JCOM Haiti.

A victim placed in intensive care

“We were able to administer first aid to the victims. Some patients were airlifted to the capital. We have at least one patient in critical condition who is in intensive care, ”explains Soitmil Lorreus, head of emergencies at Saint-Antoine public hospital, who says he expects to receive more wounded from remote places. Searches were held during the day to rescue any wounded trapped under the rubble. “Efforts continue to find survivors,” said the Haitian Red Cross.

“We are saddened by the loss of life, the destruction, as well as by the suffering of the Haitian population caused by the earthquake,” commented in New York Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Severe weather also hit the country over the past weekend, leaving at least 51 dead, 18 missing and 140 injured, according to a new report from the Haitian authorities quoted by the UN on Tuesday. Stéphane Dujarric clarified that the World Food Program was preparing to distribute some 350,000 meals and other food aid “to those who need it most”. But “insecurity and road damage are hampering aid operations,” he said, as the country is plagued by gang violence.

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