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Death toll from earthquake in Haiti passes 2,000 as tensions rise over slow aid efforts

Posted at 2:48 AM, Aug 19, 2021

Tensions have been growing over the slow pace of aid efforts in Haiti after a powerful weekend earthquake that killed more than 2,100 people and was followed by a drenching tropical depression.

At the small airport in the southwestern community of Les Cayes, a police officer fired shots to disperse a group of young men among throngs who had gathered to watch aid being unloaded.

Angry crowds have also gathered at collapsed buildings in the city, where they're demanding tarps to create temporary shelters to protect them from rain.

Tropical Storm Grace drenched the country just days after the massive magnitude 7.0 earthquake.

International aid workers on the ground said hospitals in the worst-hit areas are mostly incapacitated and that there is a desperate need for medical equipment. But according to The Associated Press, Haiti's government told at least one foreign organization that has been operating in the country for nearly three decades that it did not need assistance from hundreds of its medical volunteers.

Haiti's Civil Protection Agency raised the number of deaths from the earthquake to 2,189. Dozens of others are still missing.

Officials say the magnitude 7.2 earthquake destroyed more than 7,000 homes and damaged more than 12,000, leaving about 30,000 families homeless.