On Saturday, August 14, at 8:30 am (local time), Haiti was hit by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that crumbled homes and buildings and killed more than 1,000 people.
The areas the most affected by the earthquake are the western part of the country’s southern peninsula: Sud, Grand’Anse and Nippes Departments. The epicenter was recorded near Petit Trou de Nippes about 130 kilometers west of Port-au-Prince, the capital.
In 2010, a similar earthquake left an estimated 220,000 dead, more than 1 million people displaced and roughly 300,000 injured.
As of August 17, the earthquake has killed at least 1,900 people. Schools, medical centers, churches, bridges, and more than 84,000 homes collapsed, leaving thousands homeless. The number of fatalities might still climb in the following days, as rescue workers dug through rubble in a desperate attempt to find survivors. Among the injured (more than 6,900 as of August 17), there are a few AVSI Haiti members.
Since Saturday evening, AVSI has been present in the field, assessing the situation and distributing first aid kits and food. AVSI Haiti was able to distribute these items not only individually but also at the community level because the population has been grouped as much as possible. AVSI has also distributed tents and ropes to those who have lost their homes so that they could build a shelter.
To support the Haitian people, and to provide immediate relief, AVSI has launched the fundraising campaign “Haiti Earthquake Emergency: you can help now.”