At least 304 people were killed and hundreds were injured and missing after the disastrous 7.2 magnitude earthquake, according to Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency. Prime Minister Henry said towns have been destroyed and hospitals are overwhelmed with patients.
Henry declared a one-month state of emergency for the entire country and said he would not ask for international aid yet, The Associated Press reports.
“The most important thing is to recover as many survivors as possible under the rubble,” said Henry. “We have learned that the local hospitals, in particular that of Les Cayes, are overwhelmed with wounded, fractured people.”
“The needs are enormous. We must take care of the injured and fractured, but also provide food, aid, temporary shelter and psychological support,” he added.
Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency reported early Saturday (Aug. 14) morning several deaths and widespread damage in the embattled Caribbean nation. According to the United States Geological Survey (U.S.G.S.), the 7.2 magnitude quake hit five miles from the town of Petit Trou de Nippes, which is about 80 miles west of the Port-au-Prince capital. U.S. seismologists said it had a depth of about seven miles and the impact was felt as far away as Jamaica.
“High casualties are probable and the disaster is likely widespread,” the USGS said. “Past events with this alert level have required a national or international level response.”
This earthquake rivals the 7.0-magnitude one that devastated Haiti on January 12, 2010. It destroyed the country and left between 220,000 and 300,000 people dead and hundreds of thousands injured.
Haiti’s new prime minister, Ariel Henry, reiterated on Twitter that the ″violent quake″ had caused loss of life and “enormous damage.” Henry tweeted he has mobilized his administration to utilize resources to help victims. “Following the earthquake that caused enormous damage in the South, Grand’Anse and Nipples, I have already mobilized the entire government team to adopt all necessary measures as a matter of urgency,” Henry wrote.