Natural Disaster Wreaks Havoc on Haiti

Bulldozer clears rubble left over after earthquake

Reginald Louissaint (getty images)

Bulldozer clears rubble left over after earthquake

Emma Larkin, Staff Writer

On August 14, a massive 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck southwestern Haiti and devastated the population. To make things worse, Tropical Storm Grace struck the nation overnight, claiming over 2,000 lives in all. Even more are missing and nearly 500,000 citizens are left without shelter, clean water or food.

Although the southern and western parts of Haiti have dealt with much of the earthquake damage, many communities are incapable of making contact with others. These communities have been completely devastated, as they are closer to the epicenter and were completely flooded by Tropical Storm Grace.

The dire health situation remains the most pressing concern to officials, as several hospitals in the surrounding and immediate area have been damaged or destroyed. Even the hospitals that remain open are completely overwhelmed by the amount of injuries Haitians suffered from these natural disasters.

“We have the will to do everything but we don’t have the money or resources,” a local pastor said to Reuters News Agency after the Saturday night quake.

The heavy rains brought on by Tropical Storm Grace have deemed many of the roads entirely unusable. The storm has also caused all relief and rescue teams meant for the earthquake aftermath to come to a halt.

With their previous homes being destroyed by the earthquake, many families in Haiti have resorted to gathering in makeshift tents for shelter. Even after losing their homes, families are drowning in an average of 10 inches of rain a day due to the tropical storm.

“Countless Haitian families who have lost everything due to the earthquake are now living literally with their feet in the water due to the flooding,” the Haiti UN Children’s Fund representative Bruno Maes said.

Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, has publicly stated this is a national state of emergency, and has requested specific assistance in continuing Haiti’s search-and-rescue operations across the heavily affected areas. Many countries across Latin America, the Caribbean and UN have started to reach out in hopes of helping the Haitian people during this crisis.