About half past noon two weeks ago, a fault in the southern part of Haiti let loose with a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The power grid in the area was lost, clean water delivery – where it was even available at all in that third-world country – was cut off. Buildings collapsed, trapping hundreds of people under mounds of debris.
The impoverished country is still clawing its way back after enduring a major earthquake in 2010 but Dr. Dave Vanderpool of Haiti-based Live Beyond, a Christian medical ministry, says it could have been much worse.
“That earthquake [in 2010] was a 7.0,” he tells American Family News. “This was a 7.2, which means it's about twice as powerful as the previous one.”
The more recent earthquake thankfully hit in a less-populated area, Vanderpool says, but the death toll has climbed past 2,200.
In 2010, grieving and shocked Haitians were counting bodies that topped, in the end, 200,000 people dead.
Vanderpool says the remoteness of the area, however, presents problems of its own such as removing people from the area for medical treatment.
“A lot of the hospitals in this particular area were leveled,” he says, “and so they don't have access to good care.”
Live Beyond moved to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, where the ministry purchased land and built a medical clinic that opened in 2014. A school opened in 2019.
Haiti witnessed the assassination of its president in July, and kidnapping and murders have skyrocketed across the island in recent years. The nation, Dr. Vanderpool says, needs to be covered in prayer.