Emergency teams rushed to the south of Haiti on Monday to find and treat survivors trapped under earthquake debris, with only hours before a major storm was expected to make landfall and drench the remote area in rain and potentially cause flash floods.
Across Haiti’s southern peninsula, the region hardest hit by Saturday’s quake, thousands of people were left homeless after their houses collapsed in the tremor, giving them nowhere to go as the storm approached.
The death toll stood at 1,297 with another 5,700 people injured, according to Haiti’s civil-defense agency, which estimates some 13,000 buildings throughout the region were destroyed by the quake. Hundreds of people are still missing.
“We urgently need to find water, tents and food,” said Marie Michelle Sylvie Rameau, the mayor of Les Cayes, in a radio interview with radio station Magik9. Some 4,500 people who lost their homes in the quake were sleeping outdoors, she said.
Les Cayes, a seaport of some 125,000 on Haiti’s southern coast, is one of the worst-hit cities. Local officials said thousands of homes had partially or fully collapsed.