At least 724 people were killed and 2,800 more were injured after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti Saturday morning.
Officials with Haiti’s Office of Civil Protection provided the updated death toll Sunday, as rescue workers continued to search for possible survivors in the rubble of collapsed structures. The quake’s epicenter was about 125 kilometers, or 78 miles, west of Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince, according to the US Geological Survey.
The disaster was the latest crisis to hit the Caribbean island nation, which is still reeling from the assassination of its president, the coronavirus pandemic, and a wave of gang violence. Saturday’s temblor came as the country’s vaccination campaign was just getting underway.
The destruction could get worse with Tropical Storm Grace, which is forecast to hit the island Monday or Tuesday and could bring flooding and landslides. The US, the United Nations, and relief organizations have pledged to assist Haiti, which never fully recovered from the catastrophic 7.0-magnitude quake in 2010 that killed more than 200,000 people.
“In what is already a challenging time for the people of Haiti, I am saddened by the devastating earthquake that occurred in Saint-Louis du Sud, Haiti,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. “The United States remains a close and enduring friend to the people of Haiti, and we will be there in the aftermath of this tragedy.”