Death toll from earthquake in Haiti rises to 1,297

Port-au-Prince: The death toll from a powerful earthquake in Haiti on Saturday soared up to 1,297, according to Jerry Chandler, head of Haiti’s civil protection agency.

More than 2,800 people have been injured, CNN reported.

The majority of deaths occurred in the south of the country, where 500 people are known to have died.

The quake destroyed 2,868 homes and damaged another 5,410, officials from the agency said. The destruction has also pushed hospitals to the brink and blocked roads that would carry vital supplies.

“When it comes to medical needs, this is our biggest urgency. We have started to send medications and medical personnel to the facilities that are affected,” Prime Minister Ariel Henry said. “For the people who need urgent special care, we have evacuated a certain number of them, and we will evacuate some more today and tomorrow.”

The earthquake struck at 8:30 a.m. about 10 kilometres deep, with its epicentre about 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) northeast of Saint-Louis-du-Sud in the southwest part of the country.