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Haiti: update on earthquake response

18 Aug 2021

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People search through the rubble of what used to be the Manguier Hotel after the earthquake hit on 14 August 2021 in Les Cayes, south-west Haiti. © AFP/Stanley Louis

Yesterday, heavy rain from Tropical Storm Grace forced the Government of Haiti to suspend rescue efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake, which has left thousands of people homeless and in need of assistance across the country’s south-west.

Distributions in Aquin and Camp Perrin were postponed due to heavy rains and river floods.

Government authorities and the UN now estimate that nearly 800,000 people have been affected by the earthquake, and that about 400,000 people require some form of humanitarian assistance in the three affected departments. 

Assessments are ongoing and search-and-rescue operations are still under way. Several assessments were concluded in Aquin, Les Cayes, Maniche, Marceline and Pestel, while others are ongoing in remote areas.

UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) helicopter is being utilized, and the United States has also brought in eight helicopters. A 10-member UNDAC team has started deploying to Port-au-Prince and affected areas.

While access remains a challenge, a total of four UN convoys have now passed through the gang-controlled neighbourhoods of Port-au-Prince, thanks to Government and UN negotiations.