After a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti Saturday morning, the death toll has risen to 1,419 people, according to the country’s civil protection agency.
Most of the fatalities are in the South administrative region, the civil protection service reported on Sunday. On top of the earthquake, a tropical storm system— Tropical Storm Grace— has brought sustained winds and rain, CNN reports. The earthquake has destroyed 13,694 homes and damaged another 13,785, officials from the agency said.
Agency head Jerry Chandler noted that the tropical storm, which is strengthening to a hurricane, could bring floods in the area affected by the earthquake.
The earthquake is about 60 miles west of the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake that killed approximately 220,000 to 300,000 people. Because the earthquake hit a relatively sparsely populated region, official hope the death toll will be far less than during the 2010 earthquake, NPR reports.
Just last month, Haiti’s president Jovenel Moïse was assassinated. Ariel Henry, who is supported by a number of Western countries, has assumed the position of the country’s Prime Minister.
Instead of describing this confluence of events as mere tragic misfortune, some have pointed out that centuries of colonization and exploitation from the West have significantly shaped Haiti’s trajectory.