Powerful Haiti Earthquake to Be Bookended by Heavy Rains From Fred, Grace

Tropical Storm Grace is expected to reach Haiti early next week, just as the nation was rocked by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit off the coast Saturday.

At least 304 people were killed and about 1,800 were injured following the quake, the Associated Press reported.

The storm is expected to reach Haiti by Monday and is estimated to bring anywhere from two to four inches of rain to parts of the country, according to AccuWeather, a forecasting service.

The storm could bring high winds and flooding, affecting search-and-rescue efforts. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Fred also dumped heavy rains on Haiti on Wednesday, although by that time it had weakened by that time to tropical depression. Still, it left many residents without power.

AccuWeather reported on Saturday, days ahead of Tropical Storm Grace's expected arrival on Hispaniola—the island that contains Haiti and the Dominican Republic—that the storm has winds as high as 45 miles per hour. Many other places in the Caribbean have been placed under a tropical storm warning.

It is expected to follow a similar path as Tropical Storm Fred. The storm may encounter some African dust, which could limit its strength, according to AccuWeather.

The National Hurricane Center is "closely monitoring" the storm as it Hispaniola, the hurricane center said in a statement to Newsweek. A tropical storm watch, which has been issued for the Dominican Republic, will "likely" be expanded to include Haiti, according to the statement.

However, it is too early to know exactly how Tropical Storm Grace will impact Haiti specifically, the statement said.

The heavy rains from Fred threatened dangerous flooding and mudslides, just days before the earthquake hit, according to the AP.

Video shows severe flooding in the neighboring Dominican Republican following the storm.

Tropical Depression #Fred is moving through the northeast Caribbean now, and passed over Dominican Republic and Haiti. Heavy rains still led to flooding, but the high mountains on the island did weaken the storm.
Eyes are now on Cuba, Florida, and the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. pic.twitter.com/px7Jr0nISS

— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) August 12, 2021

The earthquake struck Saturday morning about 7.5 miles northeast of Saint-Louis du Sud, Newsweek previously reported. It was so strong that the U.S. Tsunami Warning System temporarily issued a tsunami warning.

U.S. President Joe Biden has authorized an immediate response

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry said he was rushing aid to the affected areas, where towns had been destroyed and hospitals were overwhelmed, according to the AP. A one-month state of emergency has been declared.

Haiti has previously seen devastation due to strong earthquakes. In 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake left an estimated 300,000 people dead and more than one million people homeless. Many places in Haiti are continuing to recover from the colossal damage.

Updated 8:10 PM ET, with the death toll rising to 304.

Haiti 7.2-magnitude earthquake
Director General of Civil Protection Jerry Chandler speaks during a press conference in Port-au-Prince on August 14, 2021, after an earthquake struck the southwest peninsula of the country. The epicenter of the shaking, which rattled homes and sent terrified locals scrambling for safety, was about 100 miles (160 kilometers) by road west of the center of the densely populated capital Port-au-Prince. REGINALD LOUISSAINT JR/AFP via Getty Images