A tropical storm has dumped heavy rain on the Haitian region where a 7.2-magnitude earthquake killed at least 1,419 people on Saturday.
Tropical Storm Ida According to CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward, Grace moved across the southern coast of Hispaniola, the island that includes Haiti and the Dominican Republic, late Monday, bringing with it strong winds and heavy rain.
Rain is expected to lighten Tuesday morning and continue into the afternoon in the far western portions of the southern peninsula, according to Ward.
In addition to the confirmed deaths, the earthquake injured at least 6,900 people, with the number expected to rise as search and rescue efforts continue. According to CNN, local hospitals are overwhelmed with victims and in desperate need of medical supplies.
According to the civil protection agency, the earthquake also destroyed and damaged tens of thousands of homes, as well as blocking roads and wrecking infrastructure, making it difficult for vital supplies to reach the affected areas.
Roads between the badly damaged city of Les Cayes and the town of Jeremie are currently being repaired — roads that were further obstructed overnight due to aftershocks and mudslides.
Jerry Chandler, the head of Haiti’s civil protection agency, told CNN as Grace approached that “possible floods in the earthquake-affected area” could “be a complication to an already complicated situation.” Since the earthquake, many people have been sleeping outside.
Meanwhile, dissatisfaction with the Haitian government’s slow response is growing.
“We really need help, yesterday I was helping at the hospital and things were out of control,” a volunteer named Marcelin Lorejoie told CNN on Sunday.
“Not enough doctors, not enough medicines and we have people with serious injuries. We need urgent help before things (get) more complicated.”
Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry promised on Monday to speed up aid and rescue efforts. “We will increase our efforts tenfold to reach, in terms of assistance, the maximum number of victims possible,” he wrote on Twitter. “Faced with this emergency, there is no respite.”
Authorities have been going from house to house looking for survivors, which has taken a lot of time and money.
A CNN team saw only one excavator at the site of one collapsed hotel, which was not working at the time. As people carried air conditioning units away from the wrecked building, there was no police or security presence nearby.
Haiti’s relief efforts are heavily reliant on donor countries and organizations, as the country struggles to recover from the assassination of its late President Jovenel Moise in July.
Chandler stated that they were collaborating with international donor countries to meet the basic emergency needs of Haitians affected by the earthquake.
During an off-camera briefing on Monday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the US military’s Southern Command has been coordinating with inter-agency partners since Saturday to “assess the situation and provide support in the aftermath of the earthquake” in Haiti.