The Haitian NGO ITECA has warned of a humanitarian crisis in the commune of Gros-Morne (Artibonite department) following the 5.9-magnitude earthquake that struck the north of the country on October 6. Damages inflicted by the earthquake - more than 2000 homes damaged or destroyed in the commune alone - added to already worrying conditions in the region caused by a recent drought, which was followed by flooding. ITECA has called for the urgent construction of temporary shelters and the provision of medical assistance, drinkable water, and psychological support for local residents.
The October 6 earthquake struck off the northwestern coast of the country, killing 17 people - including seven in Gros-Morne - and injuring another 400. The government’s response has been criticized as slow.
Earthquakes are relatively common in Haiti, which sits along the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault zone. The country is still recovering from a devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck in 2010.
Individuals in Haiti are advised to postpone nonessential travel to the region and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities.