Early in the morning of 14 August 2021, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck southwest Haiti, killing 1200 people, injuring 12,000, and causing hospitals, schools and homes to collapse. Hundreds of thousands of people were in immediate need of humanitarian assistance, and many still are.
Haiti Earthquake 2021
On August 14, 2021, a series of earthquakes struck Haiti’s southern peninsula, leaving 2,400 people dead and doing enormous damage to the area’s infrastructure. Like most of Haiti outside of Port au Prince, the peninsula is a predominantly agricultural area. Damage to roads and bridges, the death of farm animals, and mudslides from the tropical storm that struck the area a few days later, have all conspired to threaten food production.
Between September 19 and October 5, the Biden administration expelled over 7,200 people to Haiti on 67 flights. Between February 1 and September 15, the Biden administration deported 2,140 people on 37 flights.
So, since taking office Biden has expelled 9,300 people to Haiti on 94 flights. Three-fourths of those expulsions have happened over the last two weeks. The Biden administration has also repatriated 400 people interdicted at sea.
This week has been a roller coaster. As of Friday there have been at least 21 deportation flights to Haiti this week as the Biden administration tries to clear out thousands of people who have been stuck at the Del Rio port of entry after crossing into Texas - most from Haiti. As a frame of reference, through the first 11 months of the current fiscal year, there were a total of 37 flights to Haiti. As Biden has doubled down on Title 42 expulsions, the vast majority of people processed will simply be expelled without an opportunity to seek asylum.
We live in a global society of spectacle. Capitalism in its latest stage is fueled by the production of the imaginary. Business, activism, and politics are all played out in virtual spaces, while the world we physically live in becomes experienced primarily in reference to images; the more spectacular, the more entertaining, or the more shocking, the more engaged we become.
[caption id="attachment_9725" align="aligncenter" width="1494"] Screenshot of iAero Flight 3540, San Antonio to Port au Prince, September 15[/caption]
It has been two weeks since an earthquake struck the southern peninsula of Haiti. Assessments of the impact of the earthquake are still being developed as harder to reach communities remain isolated from relief efforts. As of now the numbers of people killed and injured rest at 2,200 and 12,200. Over 300 people are officially still missing. Likely these numbers remain undercounts.
In August, the United States began sending Central Americans who had been detained at the US/Mexico border under Title 42 to southern Mexico. There, they were put on buses and taken to the border with Guatemala and dumped.
It has now been seven days since an earthquake struck the southern peninsula of Haiti, doing tremendous damage in the Sud, Nippes, and Grand Anse departments. According to the latest update from Haiti's government, 2,189 people are confirmed dead, with another 12,268 injured. Some communities have yet to be reached by government officials and volunteers, and so this toll is likely to climb much higher.
The magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit Haiti on Saturday had severe impact on the cities of Les Cayes and Jeremie, and surrounding areas, with further destruction in and near Jacmel. People certainly felt the quake in Port au Prince. Tremors happened all day, bringing back memories of the 2010 quake and sending people out into the streets in fear.