Haiti earthquake leaves at least 227 dead, hundreds injured or missing
UNICEF on the ground to provide assistance
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says it has teams on the ground to assist children and families affected by the earthquake.
“We are deeply saddened by the reports of casualties and heavy damage following the earthquake earlier today in Haiti,” Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative in Haiti, said in a statement, CBS News’ Pamela Falk reports. “UNICEF is working with Government and non-government partners to provide support to affected communities. We stand in solidarity with families and children during this difficult time.”
U.N. Secretary-General António Gutteres said on Twitter that his “heart goes out to all affected by the earthquake,” and that the U.N. is working to support rescue and relief efforts.
I am following the latest unfolding tragedy in Haiti.
My heart goes out to all affected by the earthquake. My deepest condolences to all who have lost family and friends.
The @UN is working to support rescue and relief efforts.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) August 14, 2021
At least 227 dead, hundreds injured and missing
The earthquake death toll has increased to 227, and hundreds of others are wounded and missing, Haiti’s Civil Protection Service tweeted.
The Civil Protection Service said many victims were able to be pulled from the rubble and that hospitals continue to receive injured survivors.
Haiti officials survey disaster areas by helicopter
Members of Haiti’s government, including the minister of defense and Prime Minister Ariel Henry, are surveying disaster areas by helicopter for the first assessment of the damage, the ministry of defense tweeted Saturday.
Local hospitals overwhelmed as teams work to care for survivors, prime minister says
Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry says local hospitals “are overwhelmed with wounded, fractured people” in wake of the earthquake, The Associated Press reports.
“The needs are enormous,” he said. “We must take care of the injured and fractured, but also provide food, aid, temporary shelter and psychological support.”
Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry speaks during a press conference in Port-au-Prince on August 14, 2021, after an earthquake struck the southwest peninsula of the country.
REGINALD LOUISSAINT JR/AFP via Getty Images
Henry said the International Red Cross and hospitals in areas unaffected by the earthquake were helping to care for the injured.
The Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance at the U.S. Agency for International Development said disaster experts are at the scene assessing the damage and needs.
A building damaged by the earthquake in Les Cayes, Haiti, on August 14, 2021.
Tropical Storm Grace may threaten Haiti
Earthquake recovery could be complicated by Tropical Storm Grace, which the National Hurricane Center says may impact the island with rain and wind on Monday.
“There is a risk of wind and rainfall impacts across the rest of the Dominican Republic, Haiti, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Bahamas, and Florida next week, and interests in those areas should monitor the progress of Grace and updates to the forecast,” the center wrote in an advisory Saturday.
It added that “additional watches and warnings will likely be required for this area later today and tonight.”
Here are the 11 am AST Saturday, August 14 Key Messages for Tropical Storm #Grace.https://t.co/4oipS4CSRL pic.twitter.com/ezbHjVlr3y
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) August 14, 2021
Tropical storm watches and warnings are in effect for areas including the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis among others. Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts that are expected to strengthen over the next day.
Haitian government declares state of emergency
Haiti’s prime minister, Dr. Ariel Henry, declared a state of emergency which will last for one month in response to the earthquake.
“We will make the necessary arrangements to assist people affected by the earthquake in the Southern Peninsula,” Henry wrote on Twitter. “We must show a lot of solidarity with regard to the emergency.”
People look at damage from the earthquake in Les Cayes, Haiti, on August 14, 2021.
Updated 4:56 PM
Biden authorizes U.S. assistance
The White House said President Biden and Vice President Harris were briefed on the situation in Haiti by national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Mr. Biden authorized an immediate U.S. response and named USAID Administrator Samantha Power as the senior U.S. official to coordinate the effort.
“In what is already a challenging time for the people of Haiti, I am saddened by the devastating earthquake that occurred in Saint-Louis du Sud, Haiti this morning,” Mr. Biden said in a statement. “We send our deepest condolences to all those who lost a loved one or saw their homes and businesses destroyed.”
Haiti prime minister: ″Violent quake″ caused deaths, damage
Prime Minister Ariel Henry said on Twitter that the ″violent quake″ had caused loss of life and damage in various parts of the country.
He said he would mobilize all available government resources to help victims and appealed to Haitians to unify as they ″confront this dramatic situation in which we’re living right now.′
The quake comes just over a month after President Jovenel Moise was assassinated in his home by a team of gunmen, shaking a country already battling poverty, spiraling gang violence and COVID-19.
Videos and images appear to show chaos, panic
Videos and images posted to social media appear to show chaotic scenes in Haiti after the powerful earthquake.
Some images posted on social media — which CBS News could not immediately verify — showed homes and part of a church in the town of Jeremie reduced to rubble.
Tranbleman jeremie pic.twitter.com/Ak22I9RZOe
— JCOM Haïti (@JCOMHaiti) August 14, 2021
Another video from the town appears to show a woman writhing in pain with the caption: “Hospitals are overwhelmed and there is a lack of staff to provide first aid to the victims.”
La population jérémienne cri aussi à l’aide après le séisme de ce matin. Les hôpitaux sont débordés et le personnel est en manque pour prodiguer les premiers soins aux victimes. @MsppOfficiel https://t.co/PDxNSkbWlx pic.twitter.com/rndiqNNLSW
— Radio Télé Métronome (@Radio_Metronome) August 14, 2021
Another video appears to show panicked residents running through the streets.
Mezanmi bagay la sanble ka vinn pi grave…
Dlo kòmanse monte lan sud. #sunami pic.twitter.com/78Z0di76qV
— @chefstanleyfabre (@ACHENACTION) August 14, 2021
“Lots of homes are destroyed”
Residents in Haiti described a scene of chaos and destruction after the earthquake struck.
“Lots of homes are destroyed, people are dead and some are at the hospital,” Christella Saint Hilaire, who lives near the epicenter, told AFP. “Everyone is in the street now and the shocks keep coming.”
Naomi Verneus, a 34-year-old resident of Port-au-Prince, said she was jolted awake by the earthquake and that her bed was shaking.
“I woke up and didn’t have time to put my shoes on. We lived the 2010 earthquake and all I could do was run. I later remembered my two kids and my mother were still inside. My neighbor went in and told them to get out. We ran to the street,” Verneus said.
“High casualties are probable,” USGS says
The U.S. Geological Survey issued a red alert for shaking-related deaths after the powerful earthquake.
“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.”
The USGS notes that structures in Haiti are especially vulnerable to earthquake shaking.
“The predominant vulnerable building types are mud wall and adobe block construction,” the survey said.
Haiti authorities say “there are deaths” after quake
The powerful 7.2-magnitude quake that struck Haiti Saturday caused multiple deaths, local authorities said.
“I can confirm that there are deaths, but I don’t yet have an exact toll,” Jerry Chandler, Haiti’s director of civil protection, told AFP. “We’re still collecting information.”
He said the country’s emergency operations center had been activated and Prime Minister Ariel Henry was headed there.