Haiti death toll raised to 1,297

Haiti death toll raised to 1,297
There are reports of hospitals being overwhelmed in the city of Les Cayes. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: The death toll after a powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake hits Haiti raised to 1,297.

Rescuers in the Carribian nation are picking through rubble in a desperate search for any survivors.

Churches, homes, and schools were among buildings flattened in the heavy quake. Some hospitals were overwhelmed and in need of medical supplies.

Officials say about 5.700 people are injured and an unknown number of people are missing.

The disaster compounds problems facing the poor nation, which is already reeling from a political crisis after the assassination of its president last month.

The south-west of Haiti appears to have suffered the worst of the earthquake, especially around the city of Les Cayes.

Social media footage showed residents desperately trying to pull victims from ruined buildings.

Archdeacon Abiade Lozama, head of an Anglican church in Les Cayes, said: “The streets are filled with screaming. People are searching, for loved ones or resources, medical help, water.”

The epicentre of Saturday’s earthquake was about 7.5 miles (12km) from the town of Saint-Louis du Sud, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry urged the population to “show solidarity” and declared a month-long state of emergency.

On Saturday, he said: “The most important thing is to recover as many survivors as possible under the rubble. We have learned that the local hospitals, in particular that of Les Cayes, are overwhelmed with wounded, fractured people.”

The international community has promised to help and US president Biden authorises immediate help to the country.

You may read: Haiti struck by deadly 7.2-magnitude earthquake