A Major Devastation: One Disaster After Another

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  • U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater aircrew members prepare to depart in support of the humanitarian efforts taking place in Haiti after a 7.2 earthquake in Great Inagua, Bahamas, Aug. 19, 2021. Aircrews from Clearwater will be sent to Haiti to replace members previously deployed to continue rescue operations. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Erik Villa Rodriguez)

  • Haiti earthquake damage, August 2021

The ground shook early Saturday morning. While many were still sound asleep in their beds, others were getting their day started. However, one thing was for sure: Haiti had been hit with another devastating earthquake on Aug. 14, 2021.

The last major earthquake to hit Haiti occurred in 2010 in the capital city. This recent earthquake is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths with a magnitude of 7.2.

The impact of this earthquake spread further than anyone could have anticipated, affecting an area 80 miles west of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, leaving at least 1,941 dead, 9,900 injured and thousands displaced and in shock.

Days after the country had been rocked by an earthquake, tropical storm Grace hit. Grace forced many to frantically seek shelter after the destruction of their homes, causing overcrowded shelters to erupt in chaos. Many shelters that were made outside in fear of aftershocks, were later destroyed by the tropical storm.

Relief efforts have come in from around the world. They have been largely coordinated by the U.S. Coast Guard and an international aid group. It has come as flown-in aid from many countries, such as Mexico. Both a search and rescue team and the U.S. Coast Guards from the United States extended a helping hand, and the European Union offered 3 million Euros in humanitarian funding.

In order for humanitarian efforts to reach those in need, the country’s officials needed to negotiate with local gangs. Officials tried to mediate peace with gangs in the seaside district of Martissant to allow humanitarians to pass through the area safely.

Simultaneously, those injured flocked to Les Cayes’ General Hospital where only three doctors were on call when the quake hit, leaving the hospital in need of necessary supplies such as pain killers and steel pins.

In an effort to help, the U.S. Coast Guard is using a helicopter to transport medical personnel from the capital to the quake zone. The devastation of this earthquake will forever leave fear in the minds of the Haitian people.