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Haiti earthquake death toll reaches 1297 people

by RT

At least 1,297 people have been killed in the devastating Haiti quake that struck the Caribbean nation’s southern peninsula on Saturday, leaving a trail of destruction and hundreds of injured residents in its wake.

The new toll represents a dramatic increase from at least 724 deaths that were reported earlier on Sunday, up from a previous count of 304. Many of the casualties, including an estimated 2,800 injuries, occurred in southwestern Haiti, near the earthquake’s epicenter.

Overall, at least 5,700 people have been injured, forcing the hospitals that remain standing to work in overdrive.

Nearly 3,000 homes were destroyed, and more than 5,400 were damaged, the Civil Protection Agency said. The quake struck about 60 miles west of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that shook Haiti in 2010, killing as many as 300,000 people, according to government estimates that, however, are disputed by independent researchers.

Rescue efforts in the latest disaster have reportedly been hampered by damage to roads and other infrastructure, and the country is forecast to be hit by Tropical Storm Grace as early as Monday. Meanwhile, Haiti continues to be shaken by aftershocks, the strongest of which was a 5.8-magnitude quake that struck in the western part of the country on Sunday morning.

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