• A 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck southwestern Haiti at 8:30am on 14th August 2021. The epicentre was recorded around 12km northeast of Saint Louis-du-Sud, about 125km west of the capital Port-au-Prince.
• Haiti’s Civil Protection reports over 2,189 deaths and over 12,268 injured, more than 52,935 collapsed buildings, including hospitals and schools, at least 77,006 damaged buildings, 137,000 families affected, and significant damages to infrastructure and roads, including 25 health infrastructures, where COVID-19 is still very much present in the country.
• Severe humanitarian access constraints and fragile security situation greatly complicate the humanitarian response in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At 8:30am (GMT-4) on 14 August, a deadly, shallow earthquake rocked southwestern Haiti 12km northeast of Saint-Louis du Sud, about 125 kilometers west of the capital Port-au-Prince. The quake destroyed and severely damaged thousands of buildings, homes and critical infrastructure including roads, cutting off access to some areas in the southwest, such as national road 7 (RN#7) which connects Les Cayes and Jeremie. The quake also forced many to flee their homes in fear that they may collapse, and seek refuge in evacuation shelters and host families.
As of 18 August, the Haitian Civil Protection General Directorate (DGPC) reports at least 2,189 deaths and around 12,268 injured, figures which are likely to increase over the coming days as more people are still missing. DGPC also reports 52,935 collapsed buildings and 77,006 damaged buildings, including 25 health facilities, 127 schools and 60 churches, with 72,859 destroyed/damaged houses in the department of the South, 36,337 in Grand’Anse, and 29,282 in the Nippes, affecting at least 137,000 families. The Sud, Grand’Anse and Nippes departments, particularly the cities of Les Cayes, Jeremie and Anse-à-Veaux, were hardest hit, suffering extensive damage and destruction to buildings and homes, while in Petit-Trou-de-Nippes phone lines were cut and have left the city out of contact. The crisis is unfolding while COVID-19 is very much present in Haiti, where health infrastructure is already overwhelmed with patients.
The first IOM team was deployed to affected areas on 14 August to assess the situation and join forces with the DGPC and humanitarian partners in front-line assistance.