Tropical Depression Grace is expected to bring heavy rain and flooding to Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
Tropical Storm Ida According to CNN meteorologist Haley Brink, Grace was nearing the southern coast of Hispaniola, the island that includes Haiti and the Dominican Republic, early Monday, bringing with it strong winds.
Tropical storm conditions are probable in the region later today, according to Brink, who also predicted several inches of rain through Tuesday, with up to 15 inches (38 cm) in some isolated locations.
On Sunday, Jerry Chandler, the director of Haiti’s civil protection organization, stated, “I am concerned about the impending storm because it may worsen the situation for us.”
In addition to the confirmed fatalities, the earthquake wounded at least 6,900 people, with the figure likely to increase as search and rescue operations continue. According to CNN, local hospitals are overwhelmed with casualties and in urgent need of medical supplies.
According to the civil protection service, the earthquake also demolished and damaged tens of thousands of houses, as well as blocking roads and wrecking infrastructure, making it impossible for essential supplies to reach the impacted regions. Roads connecting the severely damaged city of Les Cayes and the town of Jeremie are presently being repaired, although they were further blocked overnight owing to earthquakes and mudslides.
Chandler expressed concern on Monday, telling CNN that rainfall and “potential flooding in the earthquake-affected region” may “add to an already difficult scenario.” Since the earthquake, many people have been sleeping outside and may be vulnerable to the impending storm.
Meanwhile, dissatisfaction with the Haitian government’s sluggish response is rising.
“We definitely need assistance,” a volunteer named Marcelin Lorejoie told CNN on Sunday. “I was assisting at the hospital yesterday and things were out of control.”
“There aren’t enough physicians or medications, and many are suffering from severe injuries. We need immediate assistance before things (get) more complex.”
Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry pledged on Monday to speed up relief and rescue operations. “We will tenfold our efforts to reach the greatest number of victims feasible in terms of aid,” he stated on Twitter. “There is no rest in the face of this disaster.”
Authorities are now searching for survivors from home to house, an operation that is consuming a significant amount of resources.
A CNN crew observed just one excavator at the site of one fallen hotel, which was not operating at the moment. As individuals dragged air conditioning equipment out from the destroyed structure, there was no police or security presence nearby.
Haiti’s relief operations are largely reliant on donor nations and organizations, as the country struggles to recover from the murder of its late President Jovenel Moise in July.
Chandler said that they were collaborating with international donor nations to provide the fundamental emergency requirements of Haitians impacted by the earthquake.
During an off-camera briefing on Monday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the US military’s Southern Command has been working with inter-agency partners since Saturday to “analyze the situation and offer assistance in the aftermath of the earthquake” in Haiti.
The US Navy is assisting with “unmanned and manned aircraft to give aerial pictures of earthquake damage,” according to Kirby. They have dispatched a team of 14 military officers to evaluate the situation in Haiti.
The earthquake occurred around 8:30 a.m. local time on Saturday, with a depth of approximately 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) and an epicenter about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) northeast of Saint-Louis-du-Sud in the country’s southwest.
That area is approximately 96 kilometers (60 miles) west of the epicenter of the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake in 2010, which killed between 220,000 and 300,000 people.
Caitlin Hu, AnneClaire Stapleton, Mohammed Tawfeeq, Amir Vera, Susanna Capelouto, Elizabeth Joseph, Eric Levenson, Brandon Miller, Florencia Trucco, Michelle Velez, and Lionel Vital are CNN correspondents. Theresa Waldrop and Ellie Kaufman contributed to this story.