As of 16 August 2021, at least 1,297 people have been reported dead and at least 5,700 injured, following a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the city of Saint-Louis du Sud – located in southwest Haiti — on the morning of 14 August. Shaking was felt in the capital Port-au-Prince and as far away as Jamaica. The Hotel Le Manguier, located in the Sud department, collapsed. In Jérémie — capital of the Grand’Anse department — significant damage occurred to local infrastructure and buildings, including the St. Louis King of France Cathedral. Likewise, the Abaka Bay Resort located on the island of Ile a Vache was damaged. The quake destroyed more than 7,000 residences and damaged approximately 5,000 others, with the majority of damage reported in the southwestern peninsula of Tiburon. Early reports indicate that most of the fatalities occurred in the Sud department, although the epicenter was located in the Nippes department. Multiple local hospitals are overwhelmed by significant numbers of injured people and lack supplies to treat them. A series of aftershocks ranging from 4.2 to 5.2 magnitude occurred in the hours following the initial event, and additional aftershocks remain possible. Shortly after issuing a tsunami threat warning, the U.S. Tsunami Warning System canceled the alert; there were no reports of wave surges in coastal areas.

In response to the quake, which occurred at a depth of 10 km (6 mi) in an area approximately 150 km west of Port-au-Prince, Interim Prime Minister Ariel Henry declared a one-month state of emergency for the southern departments of Grand’Anse, Nippes, Ouest – which includes Port-au-Prince – and Sud. International aid organizations, including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Health Organization (WHO), have begun coordinating relief efforts.

There have thus far been no reports of damage or disruptions to services at Toussaint Louverture International Airport (MTPP/PAP) in Port-au-Prince. As during past similar disasters in Haiti, operators should anticipate minimal authorized access to the facility and should expect to have to reposition for overnight stays due to a combination of limited parking, even under normal circumstances, and the fact that the facility only has one paved runway.

In addition to preexisting poor road infrastructure, as well as the existence of only a few major roadways connecting the southwest area of Haiti to the rest of the country, operators should expect ground access in and out of the affected areas to be extremely disrupted and possibly impassable in some areas for the immediate future. Currently, a landslide has blocked Highway 7 between Jérémie and Les Cayes.