Port-au-Prince, Aug 15 (EFE).- At least 724 people have died in Saturday’s devastating magnitude-7.2 earthquake that hit southwestern Haiti, the country’s civil protection agency said Sunday.
Another 2,800 people were injured, according to the agency.
The quake has damaged many hospitals, schools, churches, hotels and private companies in the impoverished Caribbean country, the agency’s director, Jerry Chandler said in a press conference
Rescue efforts are underway to pull people from the rubble, Chandler added.
Prime Minister Ariel Henry called the situation “dramatic” and declared a state of emergency hours after the temblor struck the Tiburon peninsula on Saturday.
The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere is ill-equipped to deal with a natural disaster of this scale, and the situation is set to become more difficult early next week when Tropical Storm Grace is expected to bring winds and heavy rains to Hispaniola.
As many as 300,000 people were killed in January 2010 when a magnitude 7 earthquake struck the densely populated region around the capital. Another 300,000 people were injured and 1.5 million were displaced. EFE