The death toll from Saturday’s earthquake in Haiti has risen to at least 724, the country’s Office of Civil Protection said Sunday.
The grim skyrocketing figure from the 7.2 magnitude quake comes hours after hospitals in Les Cayes, the island’s southwestern port city, reported they were already “overwhelmed” with injured patients.
Haiti’s prime minister, Ariel Henry, said Saturday he was sending emergency services to hard-hit Les Cayes to help coordinate the local response there.
“We are mobilizing all of our resources to aid the victims,” Henry said in a tweet.
“I send out my sympathies to the relatives of the victims of this violent earthquake which has cost many lives and a great deal of destruction.”
A video posted online Saturday showed dozens of residents of Les Cayes walking through crumbled homes and a hotel, searching through debris and rubble for loved ones.
“The most important thing is to recover as many survivors as possible under the rubble,” the prime minister said. “We have learned that the local hospitals, in particular that of Les Cayes, are overwhelmed with wounded, fractured people.”
The epicenter of the quake was about 45 miles east of Les Cayes, between the city and Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The damage caused by the quake could be exacerbated early this week, as Tropical Storm Grace is predicted to reach Haiti late Monday or early Tuesday.
With Post wires