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Update: Death toll now more than 2,100 as Haiti digs out from major earthquake

Aug. 19, 2021
4 min read
Director General of Civil Protection Jerry Chandler speaks during a press conference in Port-au-Prince on August 14, 2021, after an earthquake struck the southwest peninsula of the country. - A powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti early Saturday, killing at least 29 people and toppling buildings in the disaster-plagued Caribbean nation still recovering from a devastating 2010 quake. The epicenter of the shaking, which rattled homes and sent terrified locals scrambling for safety, was about 100 miles (160 kilometers) by road west of the center of the densely populated capital Port-au-Prince. (Photo by Reginald LOUISSAINT JR / AFP) (Photo by REGINALD LOUISSAINT JR/AFP via Getty Images)
Update: Death toll now more than 2,100 as Haiti digs out from major earthquake
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Editor's Note

This post has been updated with a revised death toll and new details.

A major earthquake hit already reeling Haiti Saturday morning Aug. 14, 2021. The New York Times first reported the 7.2 quake collapsed buildings and caused heavy damage in at least two cities. The quake was felt as far away as Jamaica. The death toll rose to more than 2,100 as of Aug. 19, but those numbers are expected to climb. More than 12,000 have been injured.

Aid has been coming in, but not enough is reaching the stricken parts of Haiti as damaged roads and other infrastructure hampers aid efforts. The Associated Press reports that the earthquake and series of aftershocks have damaged or destroyed more than 19,000 homes. Thousands of people are homeless and many have been waiting days for medical treatment.

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According to the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake was centered just off the coast about five miles from the town of Petit Trout de Nippes about 80 miles west of Port-au-Prince. There have been several large aftershocks that have rocked the region.

Pictures and videos of the damage and of injured people being rescued circulated widely on social media.

The United States Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning for “some coasts," but there were no reports of major tsunami waves.

(Screenshot courtesy United States Geological Survey)

Haiti has been beset by crisis including food shortages and the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse July 7. Haiti also suffered another major earthquake back in 2010 that killed some 200,000 people and left much of the country in ruins.

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The prime minister and interim president Ariel Henry declared a state of emergency, and said, “I offer my sympathy to the parents of the victims of this violent earthquake that has caused loss of human life and material damager in several departments of the country.”

A White House official told news outlet the Hill that President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, “were briefed by the National Security Advisor and the Secretary of State on the earthquake this morning in Haiti.”

President Biden has reportedly authorized aid, and appointed USAID (United States Agency for International Development) Administrator Samantha Powers to coordinate this effort.

You can donate via UNICEF at their dedicated Haiti relief page here.

Food for the Poor – a relief agency – said they had just delivered food to three distribution centers, but are asking for donations. CEO Ed Raine, in a statement to the press said, “Once again, we wake up to news from Haiti that breaks our hearts and calls on us to respond immediately to those affected by this devastating earthquake.”

Raine also said, “This could not have come at a worse time for this country that is reeling still from the assassination of President Jovenel Moise and that just narrowly escaped a tropical storm. No matter what comes for Haiti, we stand with the people of Haiti.”

Food for the Poor has set up a donation page for relief efforts: Go to www.foodforthepoor.org/haitiemergency to give.

Featured image by AFP via Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023