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6 to Know: Relief Headed to Haiti After Thousands Injured in Earthquake, Tracking 3 Tropical Systems

It’s Monday, August 16th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day

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It’s Monday, August 16th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.

No. 1 - Powerful Earthquake Strikes Haiti, At Least 1,297 Dead

The death toll from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Haiti has climbed to 1,297 after the powerful temblor turned thousands of structures into rubble, setting off franctic rescue efforts ahead of a potential deluge from an approaching storm.

Saturday's earthquake also left at least 5,700 people injured in the Caribbean nation, with thousands more displaced from their destroyed or damaged homes. Survivors in some areas were forced to wait out in the open amid oppressive heat for help from overloaded hospitals.

The South Florida community is uniting to bring much-needed relief to the country in crisis. The devastation could soon worsen with the coming of Tropical Depression Grace, which is predicted to reach Haiti on Monday night. 

Click here for the full story.

No. 2 - Three Tropical Systems Churning in Atlantic

Three tropical systems were churning early Monday in the Atlantic basin and threatening to impact the U.S. Gulf Coast, some Caribbean islands including earthquake-damaged Haiti, and the island territory of Bermuda.

Tropical Storm Fred was located in the Gulf of Mexico and could make landfall by Monday evening along the Florida Panhandle, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. A tropical storm warning and a storm surge warning were in effect for coastal areas.

Tropical depression Grace was dropping rain over Puerto Rico early Monday and forecast to move over Hispaniola later in the day. The hurricane center said forecasted rainfall between 4 and 8 inches could cause flooding and possible mudslides for Haiti and the Dominican Republic through Tuesday.

Tropical depression eight formed late Sunday near Bermuda, and the hurricane center predicted it would become a tropical storm sometime Monday. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the island.

For continuous updates, click here.

No. 3 - Thousands Attempt to Flee Afghanistan After Taliban Takeover

Thousands of Americans are trying to escape Afghanistan as the Taliban ceases control of the country.

The Taliban swept into Kabul on Sunday after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, bringing a stunning end to a two-decade campaign in which the U.S. and its allies had tried to transform Afghanistan.

The country's Western-trained security forces collapsed or fled in the face of an insurgent offensive that tore through the country in just over a week, ahead of the planned withdrawal of the last U.S. troops at the end of the month.

Click here for the full story.

No. 4 - President Joe Biden Praises Broward School Chief

President Joe Biden is praising a Broward County school leader for implementing mask requirements in defiance of Gov. Ron DeSantis, who said he would punish school districts that mandate mask-wearing in classrooms.

Biden commended interim Superintendent Vickie Cartwright of Broward County Public School for enforcing mask use amid an alarming surge of COVID-19 cases in the state. In a separate call, Biden also praised Superintendent Chad Gestson of the Phoenix Union High School District, according to a statement from the White House. 

School starts for students in Broward County on August 18. Click here to read more.

No. 5 - UF Reverses, to Have In Person Classes

The University of Florida will open its upcoming semester with in-person classes, reversing itself within hours of telling students the term might begin online because of the state's renewed COVID-19 outbreak.

The Gainesville Sun reports UF administrators sent an email to students Friday afternoon telling them that after consulting with university epidemiologists, plans were being made to put the first three weeks of school online.

But then a few hours later, a second email went out announcing that classes would be conducted in-person. No reason was given to the Sun for the reversal, but UF said in a statement to the paper that no schools in the state university system would be conducting classes online.

Click here to read the full story.

No. 6 - COVID Breakthrough Risk May Be Much Lower With Moderna Than Pfizer

The risk of suffering a breakthrough COVID-19 infection with the delta variant after being fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine may be much lower than the risk for those who received the Pfizer vaccine, according to a new Mayo Clinic study that is awaiting a full review.

The study found that in July in Florida, where COVID cases are at an all-time high and the delta variant is prevalent, the risk of a breakthrough case was 60% lower for Moderna recipients as compared to Pfizer recipients.

Similarly, in Minnesota last month, the authors found that the Moderna vaccine (also known as mRNA-1273) was 76% effective at preventing infection, but the Pfizer vaccine (known as BNT162b2) was 42% effective.

Click here to read the full story.

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