Haiti earthquake: the situation today

Following the massive earthquake that struck Haiti on 14th August 2021, the Red Cross has been supporting affected communities.               

Last updated 27 March 2023

On 14 August, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti

More than 2,200 people died, and more than 12,200 reported injured. Almost 53,000 homes were destroyed along with 25 health facilities, 127 schools, and a great deal of internal infrastructure.

In the months since earthquake happened, things have got so much worse in Haiti. A cholera epidemic has been sweeping through parts of the island since October 2022. Children are bearing the brunt.

More than 12,541 suspected cases reported by the Ministère de la Sante Publique et de la Population (MSPP) in November, with a further 1,110 cases confirmed and 233 deaths.

And now, Haitians are facing a 'hunger emergency' as inflation soars and internal conflict rises. Acute hunger is now affecting 4.9 million people in Haiti, according to a report from the World Food Programme.

There several reasons for this. The impact of two devastating earthquakes, along with worsening internal conflict and surging inflation, means that food has become unaffordable. A lack of rain has also impacted crop yields, making food even more scarce. 

A spokesperson from the World Food Programme says: “It is critical that life-saving food assistance keeps reaching the most vulnerable Haitians and resilience and safety-net initiatives continue being prioritised so we can address the root causes of hunger,” said Bauer.

As well as cholera and and hunger, levels of violence - especially against women and girls - are also increasing by the day. Haiti is plunging into crisis and needs the world to stand up and notice.

When was the 2022 Haiti earthquake?

At 8.29am local time on Saturday 14th August, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, about seven miles from the town of Saint-Louis-du-Sud. 

For perspective, the 2010 earthquake that killed 220,000 and left 1.5 million people homeless in Haiti, had a magnitude of 7.0. The country was still recovering from 2010’s earthquake. 

The 2022 earthquake caused severe damage in the south of the country. 

Four hospitals were damaged in Les Cayes and Jérémie, where a cathedral and other religious also collapsed. Morning mass was being celebrated at the time. 

Hotels, ports, bridges and roads were also damaged, with an unknown number of people still trapped in rubble. 

Early assessments by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) indicated that more than 800,000 people have been directly affected by the earthquake’s impact.

Click on the maps below to see the extent of the area affected by the earthquake, if it had happened in London or Glasgow. 

Rescue and recovery after the earthquake

This video shows the immediate aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti

Duration of video: 1 minute

The scale of destruction in Haiti was enormous - 2.2 million people are believed to have felt the earthquake and its aftershocks. 

The Haitian Red Cross, which has 200 staff and 10,000 volunteers, remains on the ground, providing search and rescue, first aid, emergency healthcare and shelter. 

Red Cross emergency specialists have been deployed to Haiti to support the Haitian Red Cross’s response to those affected, particularly the most vulnerable people.

Where is Haiti? 

Haiti is located in the Caribbean Sea, and includes the western third of the island of Hispaniola and smaller islands including Gonave, Tortuga, Grande Caye, and Vache. 

The capital is Port-au-Prince, which lies around 15 miles from the epicentre of the 2010 earthquake. The city was devastated by that quake.

The epicentre of the 14 August 2021 earthquake was around seven miles from the coastal town of Saint-Louis-du-Sud, on the south of the island. 


What happened with the Red Cross in Haiti in 2010?

On social media, you may have seen people talking about the Red Cross’s response to the 2010 earthquake. The story people are referring to is about the American Red Cross, who responded at the time. 

The American Red Cross accounted for every donated dollar spent. You can see a financial breakdown of earthquake spending, as well as stories of the people who were helped, here.
The Haitian Red Cross, the British Red Cross and the American Red Cross are part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, which is made up of different national societies around the world.

Each society has a responsibility to help vulnerable people within its own borders, and to work with the Movement to protect and support those in crisis worldwide, wherever they may be. 

The British Red Cross ran a separate appeal for Haiti in 2010. You can read more about how your donations helped here. 

If you kindly donated to the British Red Cross’s Haiti appeal in 2010, your money helped the Haitian Red Cross to reach thousands of people. The response included: 

  • Providing 226,030 households with essentials like blankets, cooking equipment, and mosquito nets
  • The treatment of 229,977 people in Red Cross emergency healthcare facilities
  • Providing 195,160 households with food supplies
  • Distributing 1.2 billion litres of drinking water 
  • Removing 149,204 cubic metres of rubble 
  • Assisting 81,716 households with financial support. 


What caused the earthquake in Haiti?

Haiti’s history of earthquakes stems from the fact the country sits on a fault line between huge tectonic plates - the movement of which causes earthquakes. 

Disasters around the world

Our Stories platform aims to bring our work across the globe to life. Whether it’s a disaster overseas or flooding in the UK, your donation means the Red Cross can be there whenever disaster strikes.