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Heavy rain threatens to complicate rescue efforts in earthquake-ravaged Haiti

Heavy rain from Tropical Depression Grace drenched Haiti on Monday, threatening to complicate rescue efforts following Saturday's earthquake that left at least 1,297 people dead and tens of thousands homeless.

Driving the news: Up to 15 inches of rain were expected in parts of the country, with officials bracing for possible flash floods and mudslides.


The big picture: The storm's arrival comes as the country continues to reel from Saturday's magnitude 7.2 earthquake, last month's assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, the coronavirus pandemic, extreme poverty and worsening violence.

  • Residents who lost their homes in the earthquake used sheets and sticks to erect makeshift tents on a soccer field in Les Cayes, per AP.
  • People continued to flood the country's already overwhelmed hospitals and clinics. At least 5,700 people were injured in the quake.
  • “We are saturated, and people keep coming in,” Michelet Paurus, a doctor at Les Cayes' general hospital told AP, adding that they were facing medication and supply shortages.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry declared a month-long state of emergency for the entire country, saying government aid was headed to destroyed towns and hospitals, per AP.

  • Aid workers must also contend with gangs who control some roads and towns, according to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
  • OCHA said on Monday that local authorities are negotiating access and six aid vehicles were able to reach affected areas on Sunday. Additional convoys would arrive on Monday.
  • "The health system in affected areas is being overwhelmed, as health workers are assisting the injured while also contending with the COVID-19 pandemic, OCHA added. "The number of COVID-19 patients is expected to increase in the coming days and weeks."

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