Haiti earthquake: Osaka to donate prize money to relief efforts as death toll rises to over 1,200

Francis Akhalbey August 16, 2021

Tennis star Naomi Osaka on Saturday announced she’s going to donate her earnings from the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to relief efforts in her father’s home country of Haiti following the devastating earthquake that struck the island nation.

At least 1,297 people have so far been reported dead and more than 5,700 injured after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Caribbean nation on Saturday. Of the 1,297 fatalities, 1,054 are in the South administrative region, 119 are in Grand’Anse, 122 are in Nippes and two are in the Northwest region, the country’s civil protection service said on Sunday.

The earthquake struck 12km (7.4 miles) northeast of Saint-Louis du Sud, on Haiti’s southern Tiburon Peninsula, at a shallow depth of 10km (6.2 miles), the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported.

And following Saturday’s natural disaster, Osaka took to Twitter to commiserate with the people of Haiti as well as announce her intention to help those affected. “Really hurts to see all the devastation that’s going on in Haiti, and I feel like we really can’t catch a break” the 23-year-old shared. “I’m about to play a tournament this week and I’ll give all the prize money to relief efforts for Haiti. I know our ancestors blood is strong we’ll keep rising.”

Haiti is vulnerable to earthquakes and hurricanes. The impoverished country was struck by a magnitude 5.9 earthquake in 2018 that killed more than a dozen people. Two years later, a magnitude 7.1 quake destroyed much of the capital and killed about 200,000 people.

Saturday’s earthquake struck weeks after President Jovenel Moise was assassinated, sending a country that has struggled to overcome the problems of poverty and inequality into political chaos.

“We’re concerned that this earthquake is just one more cirsis on top of what the country is already facing — including the worsening political stalemate after the president’s assassination, COVID and food insecurity,” Jean-Wickens Merone, a spokesman with World Vision Haiti, said in a statement.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 16, 2021


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