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Firefighters remove debris in search of survivors after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. Photo: Richard Pierrin/Getty Images

Saturday's earthquake in Haiti left the country "on its knees," Prime Minister Ariel Henry said Wednesday as the Civil Protection Agency raised the death toll to nearly 2,200.

Driving the news: Frustration and anger continue to grow across Haiti over the slow pace of aid reaching affected areas, AP reported. Tens of thousands were left homeless, 12,268 people were injured and over 300 are still missing, officials said.

  • "As a judge, I must not have a political opinion. But as a man, as a man concerned about the situation of my country, nothing is working. They didn't do anything to prepare for this disaster," Pierre Cenel, a judge in Les Cayes, said of the government, per Reuters.
  • Search and rescue efforts were further complicated as Tropical Storm Grace lashed the country with strong winds and heavy rain earlier this week.
  • Hospitals and clinics in affected areas were either destroyed or completely overwhelmed by the scores of injured in need of attention.
  • "We need help," Roosevelt Milford, a pastor speaking on behalf of hundreds displaced and camped out in a field in Les Cayes, pleaded on the radio, per Reuters.

What they're saying: "Haiti is now on its knees," Henry said in a Wednesday evening address.

  • "The earthquake that devastated a large part of the south of the country proves once again our limits, and how fragile we are," he added.
  • “We have to put our heads together to rebuild Haiti," he said. “The country is physically and mentally destroyed."
  • Henry also said that officials are working to not "repeat history on the mismanagement and coordination of aid." It was a reference to mismanagement and chaos surrounding how aid was distributed following the devastating 2010 earthquake, AP noted.

The big picture: Saturday's magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck the country as it continues to reel from last month's assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, the coronavirus pandemic, extreme poverty and worsening violence.

  • Government officials and the United Nations estimate that about half of the nearly 800,000 people affected by the earthquake are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
  • Assistance has been slowed, however, due to the weather and as the UN and government authorities negotiate with gangs who control roads and other areas in and around the affected cities and towns.
People gather after spending the night outside in the aftermath of the earthquake, facing the inclement weather of Tropical Storm Grace near Les Cayes on Aug. 17. Photo: Reginald Louissaint Jr./AFP via Getty Images
A church that was completely destroyed by the earthquake in Chardonnieres, Haiti. Photo: Reginald Louissaint Jr./AFP via Getty Images
People search through the debris of a destroyed home near Camp-Perrin, Haiti. Photo: Reginald Louissaint Jr./AFP via Getty Images

Go deeper

U.S. begins deportation flights to Haiti from Del Rio

Migrants, many of them Haitian, cross the Rio Grande to get food and supplies near the Del Rio-Acuna Port of Entry in Ciudad Acuna on Sept. 18. Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. commenced deportation flights to Haiti on Sunday for the thousands of Haitian migrants seeking shelter in the small Texas border town of Del Rio, a source told the Associated Press.

Driving the news: More than 10,000 migrants, primarily from Haiti, have been staying in a crowded temporary camp with poor conditions under the international bridge in Del Rio. Hoping to find refuge in the United States, they've had to bear with filthy conditions and the scorching sun for days, per an NBC News affiliate.

By the numbers: Haitian emigration

Expand chart
Data: CBP; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The number of Haitians crossing the U.S.-Mexico border had been rising even before their country's president was assassinated in July and the island was struck by an earthquake a month later.

Why it matters: A spike during the past few weeks — leaving thousands waiting in a makeshift camp under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas — has prompted a crackdown and deportations by the Biden administration.

Updated Sep 20, 2021 - Science

Thousands flee after volcano erupts on Spain's La Palma

A river of lava approaches houses as Mount Cumbre Vieja erupts, spewing out columns of smoke, ash and lava on the Canary island of La Palma on Sept. 19. Photo: Desiree Martin/AFP via Getty Images

About 5,000 people, including 500 tourists, on the Spanish island of La Palma, have been forced to evacuate after a volcano, known as Mount Cumbre Vieja, erupted Sunday, Reuters reports.

Driving the news: The explosion, which took place in a southern area of the island known as Cabeza de Vaca, came after several weeks of seismic activity, with authorities recording an earthquake of about 3.8 magnitude before the eruption.

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