On Saturday 14 August, an earthquake of magnitude 7.2 struck the south-west of Haiti. It is the largest earthquake there since the terrible one in 2010. The consequences of this powerful earthquake are dramatic. According to a statement from the civil protection services, published on the evening of Monday 16 August, 1,419 persons have died from the earthquake and more than 6,900 are injured. These figures are preliminary and it is very likely that they will increase significantly as searches are carried out in the rubble. In addition, nearly 83,000 houses are reported to have been destroyed or damaged, leaving thousands of people homeless.
SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL, which has been present in the country since 2010, intervened very quickly by providing the affected populations with a drinking water tank (called “a bladder”) as well as chlorine to treat the water that people draw from various sources and thus reduce the risks of spreading waterborne diseases. It has also provided tarpaulins to build emergency shelters.
In parallel, our teams are carrying out assessments to determine the scale of the needs and of the humanitarian response being provided in order to determine whether there is reason to commit to a more extensive response. This will have to be adapted to a particularly complex situation. “Roads have been destroyed, the political and economic crisis is still ongoing and Port-au-Prince continues to have large numbers of people displaced because of gang warfare. In addition, there is the alarming spread of COVID-19” Luis De Pinho Santos, Director of SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL’s Haiti mission explains. “Finally, it should be remembered that the country has not yet fully recovered from the catastrophic earthquake of 2010,” he stresses.