On Tuesday, August 17, Hatian rescuers scouring the debris left behind after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the area on August 14, pulled 16 people alive from the rubble, according to Haiti’s Civil Protection agency.
“For the morning, the rescuers have time to remove 16 people alive and 9 others who unfortunately died. Search and rescue operations continue …” Haiti’s Civil Protection tweeted on Tuesday.
The earthquake struck the Tiburon Peninsula in the Caribbean nation at 8:29:09 a.m. EDT with its epicenter approximately 150 kilometers (93 miles) west of the nation’s capital Port-au-Prince.
A tsunami warning was issued after the quake for the Haitian coast but was lifted a short time later.
Currently, 1,297 deaths have been reported with over 5,700 wounded. The number of casualties is expected to rise as Haitians continue to dig out of the rubble.
On August 16, rescue efforts were hindered by the arrival of Tropical Depression Grace. The National Hurricane Center expects that the storm will produce 15 inches of rainfall for the struggling nation as rescue efforts continue in the affected areas.
The historic landmark, Immaculee Conception Church of Les Anglais, which was constructed in 1907, collapsed due to the quake that struck during mass service. 17 people between the ages of 3 and 24 were killed when the facade of the church collapsed. Two individuals were pulled from the rubble alive.
Just outside of the city of Les Cayes, 20 people lost their lives when the St. Famille du Toirac church collapsed during a funeral session.
Haitian Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, declared a month-long state of emergency due to the high number of casualties and severe damage to the nation’s infrastructure.
The Biden administration authorized a U.S. response to assist in the aftermath of the quake, appointing USAID Administrator Samantha Power to coordinate the relief.
The United Nations has requested that the Brazilian government deploy their Army and Marine Corps in order to help secure the nation in the face of the ongoing humanitarian crisis while Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, said that the nation is “ready to assist in any way” in the aftermath of the quake.