Belgium expresses solidarity with Haiti following earthquake
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Belgium expresses solidarity with Haiti following earthquake

Rescuers in action in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on 15 January 2010. Credit: Belga O. Papegnies

Belgium’s Foreign Ministry has expressed solidarity with Haiti following the earthquake that shook the country on Saturday and has so far claimed at least 300 lives and has left more than 1,800 people injured.

The government department put out a message on Twitter on Sunday morning expressing condolences to the families of the victims.

“Belgium stands in solidarity with Haiti following the devastating earthquake that struck the country,” the Foreign Ministry stated in a message.

Saturday’s earthquake killed at least 304 people, and with rescue efforts still ongoing, the death toll is expected to be higher.

The deaths have occurred mainly in three provinces in the extreme southwest of the country – Sud (160), Nippes (42) and Grande Anse (100) – along with two fatalities in the Northeast, according to a government press release.

International media reported Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry as saying on Saturday that local hospitals were overwhelmed with injured people, especially in Les Cayes, the main city in Sud Province.

Solidarity for the Caribbean country and its people has also come from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other quarters.

The WHO’s office for the Americas, the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO), is sending experts to Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced on Twitter on Sunday.

“Emergency medical teams, supplies and equipment will be prepared to help meet the most urgent health needs of those affected by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake,” he wrote.

In an early reaction to the disaster, Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka, who is of part-Haitian origin, also issued a pledge of support on social media.

“I’m about to play a tournament this week and I’ll give all the prize money to relief efforts for Haiti,” she wrote on Twitter on Saturday evening. “It really hurts to see all the devastation that’s going on in Haiti.”

The devastating earthquake took place just over 11 years after the 2010 magnitude 7.0 earthquake, which resulted in around 220,000 people dying.

The Brussels Times