Haiti’s  hospitals were swamped on Sunday by thousands of injured residents after a devastating earthquake the day before killed at least 1,297 people as authorities raced to bring doctors to the worst-hit areas before a major storm hits.

The 7.2 magnitude quake on Saturday destroyed thousands of homes and buildings in a Caribbean nation .Southwestern Haiti bore the brunt of the blow, especially in the region in and around the town of Les Caye.

 Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency said the toll from the disaster had climbed to 1,297 and the hospitals that were still functioning were struggling to cope as some 5,700 people were injured.

Jerry Chandler, the head of Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency, told Reuters “We do have a serious issue”.”There are very important facilities that are dysfunctional as we speak and those that are functional are receiving an overflow of patients,” he said.

The challenge facing Haiti has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, Churches, hotels, hospitals and schools were damaged or destroyed, while the walls of a prison were rent open by the violent shudders that convulsed Haiti. Some 13,694 houses were destroyed.

 A  seafront town of some 90,000 people, rescuers in red hard hats and blue overalls pulled bodies from the tangled wreckage of one building, as a yellow mechanical excavator nearby helped to shift the rubble.

Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who flew to visit Les Cayes, praised the dignity shown by people there even in the midst of their suffering.

Samantha Power, the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development  said,The United States dispatched vital supplies and deployed a 65-person urban search-and-rescue team with specialized equipment.

Many Haitians prepared on Sunday to spend a second night sleeping in the open,  of that magnitude 7 quake 11 years ago that struck far closer to the sprawling capital. Port-au-Prince airport, international aid workers, doctors and rescue workers boarded flights to Les Cayes. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter ferried the wounded.

 Some 75 to 100 milliliters of rainfall was expected, which may trigger landslides and cause some rivers to flood, Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency said.He said one local leader had informed him there were 47 deaths in his area not yet reported to regional authorities. 

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