• Polymath Weekly

A devastating earthquake sweeps over Haiti

On August 14th, 2021, Haiti was struck by a powerful 7.2 magnitude (highly destructive according to the magnitude scale) earthquake killing over 2,200 people, with more than 300 still missing and 12,200 injured.

Nearly 53,000 homes were destroyed and about 77,000 damaged. The destruction left many people no choice but to sleep outside, fearing that the aftershocks will cause more buildings to collapse.


Ruins of homes laying along an earthquake-damaged road in Rampe, Haiti. [Image credit: Matias Delacroix, AP]

Haiti is in urgent need of medical, food and sanitation assistance, according to experts. Some relief organizations are also concerned about possible cholera (an infectious disease of the small intestine) outbreak due to little supply of clean water in the damaged areas. In addition, hospitals, schools, and other essential facilities (which affected children and families depend on) have also been physically impacted – in some cases, irreparably.

To help, UNICEF has been delivering medical supplies, clean water reservoirs, hygiene kits and more to the affected population. Similarly, the Haitian Health Foundation has been providing medical aid to the injured and coordinating with other NGOs to provide more assistance.


Shortly after the earthquake, Haiti has been swept by yet another natural disaster - a tropical rainstorm, which further complicated the situation. Moreover, the nation was already suffering from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the political crisis following the assassination of its president in July.

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