PORT-DE-PAIX, Haiti – Already short of beds and supplies, the hospital in this town near the epicenter of the magnitude-5.9 earthquake that struck northwestern Haiti over the weekend was struggling on Monday to cope with the large number of people needing help.
Port-de-Paix accounts for eight of the 12 confirmed fatalities from Saturday’s temblor.
According to official figures, another 188 people were injured, many of whom are being treated outside the city’s Immaculate Conception hospital.
The chief of the emergency room, Ruben Pierre, acknowledged to EFE the constraints of the medical center to provide attention to the strings of patients coming in, including people suffering from anxiety.
The hospital overcrowding has forced doctors and their patients to sleep on the street, in addition to a generalized “fear of buildings.”
The epicenter of Saturday’s tremor was recorded off the northeast shore, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Port-de-Paix, as per the US Geological Survey website.
A second temblor struck less than 24 hours later, just 16 km (10 mi) from Port-de-Paix, capital of Nord-Ouest province, Haiti’s poorest region, where many areas remain isolated due to a weak infrastructure.
The state of the roads is so bad that to travel the 175km (11m) from here to Port-au-Prince by car takes about seven hours.
The quake also caused the main school to collapse, which will affect hundreds of students.
President Jovenel Moise visited the areas affected the most by the event and ensured that the first string of foreign aid has arrived in the island nation.
The earthquake was one of the strongest to shake Haiti after the magnitude-7.0 tremor that occurred on Jan. 12, 2010 and which killed more than 300,000 people, left a like number of injured and caused some 1.5 million to lose their homes.