An earthquake registering a magnitude of 7.2 devastated Haiti on the morning of Saturday 14 August. At least 1,419 people are known to have died and more than 6,900 injured, that toll is expected to rise in the coming days, but search and rescue efforts are being hampered by a lack of resources and by heavy rains, which have caused mudslides that blocked roads in the region.
Tropical Storm Grace, which hit the same region late Monday "is further disrupting access to water, shelter, and other basic services," UNICEF said in a statement Tuesday. "Flooding and mudslides are likely to worsen the situation of vulnerable families and further complicate the humanitarian response."
On Tuesday, donor countries and humanitarian organisations increased efforts to help the country. The US President, Joe Biden, has authorised an "immediate US response" to help Haiti and said USAID would work to support efforts to "assess the damage and assist efforts to recover those who were injured and those who must now rebuild". "In what is already a challenging time for the people of Haiti, I am saddened by the devastating earthquake," he said.
The disaster compounds problems facing the nation, which is already reeling from a political crisis following the assassination of its president last month. Haiti’s Prime Minister said there was "extensive damage" and declared a month-long state of emergency. Haiti is still recovering from a devastating 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people and caused extensive damage to infrastructure and the economy.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti.
We pray for the families and friends who have lost loved ones and for those who are injured that they will recover. We pray for the efforts of the humanitarian organisations so that the people of Haiti can recover and rebuild their lives. We remember those in Haiti who lost their lives in the 2010 earthquake and to those who still battle with grief and loss years later. Lord God, we ask for you to comfort and protect the people of Haiti and give them the strength as they come through this devastation. Amen.