Death toll climbs to more than 1,200 following devastating earthquake in Haiti

The death toll from a horrific earthquake in Haiti is climbing.

More than 1,200 lives have been lost in the 7.2 magnitude quake that struck the impoverished island nation on Saturday, Breitbart reports.

Death count climbing

Thousands of others were injured or left homeless in the aftermath of the disaster, which destroyed over 13,000 buildings and damaged thousands of others, Haiti’s government said, according to the Wall Street Journal. Hundreds were left trapped under rubble.

Marcel Francois of Les Cayes, a heavily impacted city in the southwest of Haiti, was one of them. “Thanks to God and also to my phone, I’m alive,” he said, according to Breitbart.

But the suffering of the Haitian people was far from over Monday as search-and-rescue efforts continued against the backdrop of a tropical storm that raised fears of landslides.

The seemingly relentless series of disasters comes roughly a month after Haiti suffered an earthquake of another kind, when the assassination of the destitute and chronically unstable country’s president sparked a political crisis.

Pope Francis offered a prayer for Haiti on Sunday, the BBC reported, as the United States, Haiti’s neighbors in Latin America, and the United Nations offered to help with the recovery. USAID has sent a search-and-rescue team, Breitbart notes, and the United States is also offering military aid.

Foreign aid pours in

While devastating, the earthquake seems to pale in comparison to a 2010 quake that obliterated Haiti’s capital, Port-Au-Prince, killing more than 200,000 Haitians and making 1.5 million others homeless, according to NPR.

That quake was twice as strong and hit closer to Port-Au-Prince than Saturday’s disaster, but the latest quake still decimated cities like Las Cayes, where the destruction left many homeless and raised concerns of famine and strain on Haiti’s health care system, which was almost wiped out in 2010.

According to the Miami Herald, Haitian Senator Joseph Lambert said it is “certain that in the days to come there will be huge sanitary problems, food shortage problems, and famine.”

While Haiti is in misery, Prime Minister Ariel Henry said the country’s past experiences have left it better able to respond this time. The government, he said, will be careful to coordinate all foreign aid.

“We want there to be coordination,” he said, as the Herald reported. “Of the aid that is coming, we are making sure that it passes through one door of entry.”

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