The death toll of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti Saturday is now at nearly 1,300 as rescuers search through rubble, trying to find any survivors, as reported by Reuters on Sunday. Rescue and recovery efforts are taking an urgent tone as Tropical Storm Grace bears down on the nation even as many Haitians still remain missing beneath flattened buildings, according to The New York Times. Many slept in the streets overnight due to fears of their damaged homes collapsing on them in the middle of the night.
While Haitian officials do not believe the damage is as widespread as the 2010 earthquake, they’ve warned that potential aftershocks could destroy already weakened structures and kill more than the 1,297 people already confirmed dead. The natural disaster has prompted the U.S. Geological Survey to issue a “red alert” indicating that thousands more could be dead. The earthquake comes as the nation had already been battling political turmoil from the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.