Haiti earthquake: Death toll in Haiti nears 2,000, survivors call for food, shelter and medical care

Haiti's devastating earthquake that left at least 1,941 dead has left thousands of people in need of food, shelter, and medical care. Search and rescue teams resumed operations after heavy rains caused dangerous flooding.

Many hospitals suffered severe earthquake damage, which hampered humanitarian efforts. Doctors working in tents were able to save many of the injured, including children and the elderly, while they fought to save their lives. They could not save all of them.

Lanette Nuel, who was seated listlessly beside her daughter's corpse outside Les Cayes' main hospital, one of the worst-hit towns by the tremors and the storm's heavy rains, said, "There weren’t enough doctors, and now she’s dead."

26-year-old woman who was a mother of two had been crushed by the debris from the magnitude 7.2 earthquake. She was now covered with a white sheet.

"We came in yesterday afternoon and she died this morning," her mother said. Her mother stated that she couldn't do anything.

Saturday's earthquake destroyed tens of thousand of buildings in the Americas' poorest country. This country is still recovering from an 11-year-old earthquake that claimed over 200,000 lives. The civil protection service reported Tuesday afternoon that, in addition to the deaths, at least 9,915 people were injured by the latest earthquake. Many others are still missing or trapped under the rubble.

Political turmoil and the difficulty of getting from the capital to south due to gang control made it difficult to aid efforts. The situation was made worse by flash flooding and landslides following Tropical Storm Grace.

Bruno Maes, a representative of the United Nations Children's Fund in Haiti, stated that "Countless Haitian families have lost everything because of the earthquake and are now literally living with their feet in water due to flooding."

"Right now, approximately half a million Haitian kids have little or no access to shelters, safe water, nutrition, and healthcare."

According to the United Nations, $8 million has been allocated in emergency funds by the United Nations for relief of affected people.

Latin America countries, including Venezuela, Chile and Mexico, Panama and Colombia, sent food, medicine, and supplies to the Dominican Republic and neighboring Dominican Republic. The United States also sent supplies and search-and-rescue teams.

Although criminal gangs have blocked access roads for several months, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs stated that "successful negotiation" had allowed a convoy to reach Les Cayes.

Les Cayes hospital, located about 150km (90 miles) west the capital Port-au-Prince was more overwhelmed than usual Tuesday as patients who had been sleeping outside were forced to move indoors in an attempt to escape the tropical storm.

Director Peterson Gede stated that medics did their best to help patients. He said, "We couldn't handle all of the patients." "And we have been receiving supplies but it's not enough."

Over 100 people attempted to fix makeshift covers made of wood poles and tarps, which Grace had destroyed overnight at a Les Cayes tent city. Some took cover under plastic sheets.

Mathieu Jameson was the deputy head of the committee that was formed by residents of the tent city. He said that hundreds of people were in dire need of food, shelter, and medical care.

"We don’t have a doctor. We don't have enough food. Each morning, more people arrive. There is no toilet, no place to sleep. Jameson said that food is essential and that more umbrellas are needed. He also stated that the government was still waiting to provide assistance for the tent city.

Haiti's most recent natural disaster occurs just over a month following the political turmoil caused by President Jovenel Moise's July 7 assassination.

Jake Sullivan, U.S. national security advisor, stated Tuesday that it was too soon to assess the impact of the earthquake on Haiti's political system and that the United States, which is the country's principal donor, did not have any plans to send its military to the area.

In an effort to save survivors, rescue workers worked alongside the residents digging through the rubble. Haitian civil protection authorities reported that 16 people were found alive on Tuesday morning, along with nine others.

However, the hope was fading and there was a stench of decay and dust in the air.

Maria Fleurant, a northern Haitian firefighter, said, "We came all over to help: From the north, Port-au Prince and from everywhere."

Ariel Henry, the Prime Minister, was sworn into office less than a month after Moise's assassination. He pledged to distribute humanitarian aid more efficiently than in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake.

Many Haitians claim that they did not see any benefits from the coordinated efforts of millions of dollars of aid flowing into Haiti in 2016 after the earthquake and Hurricane Matthew. The government was weak and there were persistent shortages of basic goods and food.

Henry said to reporters that the earthquake was a terrible misfortune that occurs in the middle hurricane season. Henry stated that the government would not repeat what happened in 2010.
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