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Haiti: Earthquake Death Toll Rises to Nearly 1300

Haiti: Earthquake Death Toll Rises to Nearly 1300
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By Staff, Agencies

The death toll from a magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Haiti soared to at least 1297 on Monday as rescuers raced to find survivors amid the rubble ahead of a potential deluge from an approaching tropical storm.

Saturday's earthquake also left at least 2800 people injured in the Caribbean nation, with thousands more displaced from their destroyed or damaged homes.

Survivors in some areas were forced to shelter in streets or soccer fields with their few salvaged belongings while overloaded hospitals scrambled to help those who were injured.

Yet the devastation could soon worsen with the coming of Tropical Storm Grace, which was predicted to reach Haiti late Monday or early Tuesday [local time], bringing the potential for torrential rain, flooding and landslides.

The US National Hurricane Center forecast 10 to 20 centimeters of rain in Haiti and the Dominican Republican, with up to 15 inches in some southern parts of the island they share.

The earthquake struck the southwestern part of the hemisphere’s poorest nation, almost razing some towns and triggering landslides that hampered rescue efforts.

The disaster added to the plight of Haitians who were already grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, a presidential assassination and a wave of gang violence.

The epicenter of the quake was about 125 kilometers west of the capital of Port-au-Prince, the US Geological Survey said.

Aftershocks continued jolting the area on Monday.

The earthquake also struck just over a month after President Jovenel Moise was shot to death in his home, sending the country into political chaos.