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Haitian earthquake victims wait for assistance

Jennie Auguste, a Haitian resident, lies on a thin foam mattress on the airport's runway, with a lost, thousand-yard stare.

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Haitian earthquake victims wait for assistance

Auguste, a resident of the Caribbean's southwest, has suffered injuries in her abdomen, chest and arm following the collapse of the roof at the store where she worked over the weekend.

While her sister and other helpers cheer her on, she occasionally grumbles in pain. Auguste is now unable to wait for space in a local hospital or on one of the small planes ferrying injured people into Haiti's capital.

"There has been no help. Bertrande's sister Auguste said that there has been no help from the government. Sunday was a day when Haitians tried to assess everything as the death toll from the disaster rose.

According to the Civil Protection Agency of the country, 1,297 people were killed in the magnitude 7.2 earthquake. This was Sunday after thousands of structures collapsed and set off rescue efforts for a possible deluge from a storm.

At least 5,700 people were also injured in Saturday's earthquake. Thousands more were forced from their homes due to the destruction or damage. Les Cayes became darkened at night after sundown Sunday. Many people slept outside, clutching their small transistor radios tuned for news, fearful of the ongoing aftershocks.

Tropical Depression Grace is expected to hit Haiti Monday night. This could lead to more destruction. According to the civil protection agency, Haitians can expect strong winds and heavy rains, as well as flooding.

Officials claimed that more than 7,000 homes had been destroyed and almost 5,000 were damaged. Other affected areas included hospitals, schools, offices, churches, and offices.

The earthquake struck approximately 125 km (78 miles) west from Port-au-Prince, causing landslides that hindered rescue efforts in a country considered the most poor in the Western Hemisphere. Already the country was facing increasing poverty, the coronavirus pandemic and political uncertainty after President Jovenel Moise's assassination on July 7. There was also gang violence.

Families rescued their belongings from Les Cayes, and spent the night on a soccer pitch in a scene that was repeated throughout the earthquake zone. People lined up to purchase what little was left: bananas, avocados, and water at a streetmarket.

With heavy machinery, shovels, and picks, workers reconstructed the rubble from collapsed buildings.

The dire circumstances forced local officials to negotiate with Martissant's gangs to allow humanitarian convoys to pass through the area twice daily, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Haiti's southern peninsula is a "hotspot" for gang violence. This area has been home to many attacks on humanitarian workers.

According to the agency, the area was "virtually impossible" to reach for the past two months due to roadblocks and security concerns. Anna Jefferys, spokeswoman for the agency, said that Sunday's first convoy was completed with U.N. personnel and government officials. She said that Tuesday will see the U.N.'s World Food Program send food supplies via trucks.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry declared a one month emergency in the country. He said that first aid convoys had begun moving people to affected areas.

Henry said to reporters, "We salute dignity, resilience efforts of the victims, and their ability for a new start." "From my observations, it seems that Haitians want to live in peace and make progress. Let's unite as a community to provide a living environment that encourages development.

Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director, stated that humanitarian needs are urgent and many Haitians need shelter, water, and health care. She said that children who are separated from their parents require protection.

Fore spoke of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that killed tens to thousands and left Haiti reeling. This disaster comes alongside political instability, rising gang violence and alarmingly high levels of malnutrition among children.

This country, home to 11 million people, received its first U.S.-donated vaccines against coronavirus last month through a United Nations program for low income countries.

As hospitals in Les Cayes ran out of room to perform surgeries, medical workers from all over the region rushed to help.

Dr. Inobert Pierre is a pediatrician at Health Equity International. He said that children need all the basics.

Pierre visited two hospitals in Les Cayes, one with about 200 patients and the other with approximately 90 patients. Pierre said that many of the patients had open wounds. "We expect a lot more infections."

Pierre's medical team was going to St. Boniface to perform surgery on some patients. However, with only two ambulances they were able to transport four patients at a time.

Two small planes belonging to a Florida-based missionary organization Agape Flights and a private company landed at Port-Au-Prince Airport Sunday with about half a dozen people from Les Cayes. Two young men and a woman, both with bandages, were carried on stretchers to the waiting ambulances of the Haitian Red Cross.

Silvestre Plaza Rico was the flight supervisor for one of the volunteer flights. He said that rescue planes had performed several airlifts to approximately a half-dozen injured victims each Saturday. Plaza Rico stated that there were "many, many, many" rescue planes from different areas.

Samantha Power, USAID Administrator, is leading the U.S. effort to aid Haiti. She said that USAID had sent a search-and-rescue team from Virginia on Sunday at the request Haiti's government. She stated that the 65-member team would bring medical supplies and specialized tools to Haiti.

The U.S. Coast Guard, in collaboration with USAID, reported that a helicopter was carrying medical personnel from Haiti to the earthquake zone and evacuating the injured back to Port-au-Prince. Lt. Lt. Commander Jason Nieman, a spokesperson, stated that other aircraft and ships were being dispatched.

Many members of Cuba's 253 member health care mission to Haiti were present at the scene. Photos were shown by state media of the socialist nation showing them providing first aid to earthquake victims.

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