Families gathered in villages in south-western Haiti this weekend to hold church and funeral services a week after an earthquake battered the region, killing more than 2000 people and destroying tens of thousands of buildings.
The collapse of churches in some of the worst-affected towns and villages of the impoverished Caribbean nation left residents to grieve in open fields.
In the village of Marceline, dozens of mourners dressed in elegant black or white suits gathered in front of a decimated Catholic school to hold a funeral service for four members of the same family who died in the magnitude-7.2 quake.
Men and women wept on Saturday over the four white coffins: Three small ones for the children and one larger one for the family’s matriarch, 90-year-old Marie Rose Morin.
I am deeply moved by the courage and strength of the Haitian people I met and greatly saddened by the multiple crises the country faces.
— Amina J Mohammed (@AminaJMohammed) August 21, 2021
“I’m distraught looking at these coffins,” said Edouard Morin, her son.
Edouard was also burying his daughter, Kelly, 15, his niece Wood-Langie, 10, and his nephew, Carl-Handy, 4.
“I would feel better if I were being buried in the same grave as my mother,” he said.
Last Saturday’s quake killed at least 2189 people.
A further 332 people are missing, while 12,200 people were injured, authorities said.
The disaster followed a devastating temblor in 2010 that killed tens of thousands of people.
Recovery efforts have been impeded by flooding and damage to access roads, feeding tensions in some of the hardest-hit areas.
Exasperation over delays in assistance began to boil over in recent days, with residents looting aid truck in several towns across the south, stirring concerns about security.