An earthquake that killed 2,189 people in Haiti had left the Caribbean nation "on its knees", Prime Minister Ariel Henry said on Wednesday, as survivors showed increasing frustration about the sluggish arrival of relief to hard-hit areas. The number of injured is now 9,900, many of whom have had to wait for medical help lying outside in wilting heat.
Henry announced that he would declare a state of emergency in the country following the earthquake and urged for solidarity in the face of the disaster.
Heavy rains also lashed the country on Tuesday night, drenching scores of homeless and foiling rescue operations in the disaster.
Tropical depression Grace over southwest Haiti –worst-affected region in the country — caused torrential rains and high winds, resulting in flooding in at least one area.
A number of countries have already expressed their readiness to provide Haiti with humanitarian aid. Aid has been slowly trickling in to help the thousands who were left homeless.
Haitians already were struggling with the coronavirus, gang violence, worsening poverty and the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse when the quake hit.
Haiti sits near the intersection of two tectonic plates. Earthquakes can occur when those plates move against each other and create friction. Haiti is also densely populated. Plus, many of its buildings are designed to withstand hurricanes, not earthquakes. Those buildings can survive strong winds but are vulnerable to collapse when the ground shakes.