The death toll from a magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Haiti soared to at least 1,297 as rescuers raced to find survivors. At least 2,800 have been injured in the Caribbean nation, with thousands displaced from their destroyed or damaged homes. Some survivors were forced to shelter in streets or soccer fields while overloaded hospitals scramble to help those who were injured.
Tropical Depression Grace could soon worsen the devastation. It is predicted to hit Haiti tomorrow night and can bring heavy rain, flooding, and landslides. The earthquake hit the southwestern part which is the hemisphere's poorest nation, almost razing some towns and triggering landslides that hampered rescue efforts.
Some families salvaged their few belongings and spent the night at an open-air football pitch. People lined up to buy what little was available: bananas, avocados and water at a local street market. Some towns praised God for surviving the earthquake.
Haiti's Office of Civil Protection raised the previous death toll from 304 dead. They said more than 7,000 homes were destroyed and nearly 5,000 damaged. Hospitals, schools, offices, and churches were also effected. Hospitals were already overwhelmed because of the pandemic but now they are struggling with lack resources to deal with it. The country received it's first batch of U.S. donated coronavirus vaccines last month. Medical workers were scrambling to help as hospitals started running out of space.
Pope Francis expressed his closeness yo the people of Haiti, including prayers for the victims adn encouragement for survivors. The pope called for solidarity of international community to help alleviate the consequences of the tragedy.