On Saturday, a major earthquake struck western Haiti and was felt across the Caribbean where people fled their homes for fear that buildings might collapse.
The 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck five miles from the town of Petit Trou de Nippes, about 7.5 miles west of Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince.
Within hours the US Geological Survey (USGS) estimated ‘thousands of fatalities’ and ‘tens of thousands of injuries in poor mountainous communities’.
Jerry Chandler, who heads the country’s civil protection agency, said: ‘I can confirm there are deaths, but I don’t yet have an exact toll.’
The USGS issued a tsunami warning, saying waves of up to ten feet were possible along the coastline of Haiti but it soon lifted the warning despite a series of smaller aftershocks that continued to shake the island.
Six aftershocks followed the quake and the USGS registered three of them had at least a 4.5 magnitude. A 5.2-magnitude aftershock hit about 12miles northwest of Cavaillon, Haiti, according to the USGS.+15
A major earthquake struck western Haiti on Saturday and was felt across the Caribbean where people fled their homes for fear that buildings might collapse+15
Photos circulating social media show the earthquake’s damage, which was 0.2 stronger than the 2010 quake that killed 250,000 people and flattened swathes of buildings, leaving many homeless+15
The 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck five miles from the town of Petit Trou de Nippes, about 7.5 miles west of Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince+15
The 7.2-magnitude earthquake was felt across the Caribbean, including in Cuba and Jamaica
The quake – which had a depth of six miles – was felt in Cuba and Jamaica. It struck just over a month after Haiti’s president, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated by a team of gunmen at his home in Port-au-Prince.
Moïse’s murder shook a country already battling poverty, spiraling gang violence, and Covid-19.
‘Everyone is really afraid. It’s been years since such a big earthquake,’ said Daniel Ross, a resident in the eastern Cuban city of Guantanamo, adding that his home stood firm but the furniture shook.
Port-au-Prince resident Naomi Verneus, 34, told the Associated Press she was jolted awake by the earthquake and that her bed was shaking.
She said: ‘I woke up and didn’t have time to put my shoes on. We lived the 2010 earthquake and all I could do was run.
‘I later remembered my two kids and my mother were still inside. My neighbor went in and told them to get out. We ran to the street.’Devastation as massive magnitude 7.2 earthquake hits HaitiLoaded: 0%Progress: 0%0:00PreviousPlaySkipMuteCurrent Time0:00/Duration Time1:43FullscreenNeed Text+15
Twitter users have shared devastating photos and videos of the destruction. They mentioned hearing people buried under the rubble crying for their lives+15
The US Tsunami Warning System has not issued a tsunami warning after the quake+15
Photos on Twitter showed buildings reduced to rubble and smashed vehicles in the towns of Jérémie and Les Caye+15
Residents of Port-au-Prince fled their homes after feeling the earth shake+15
The quake had a depth of six miles, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said +15
‘Everyone is really afraid. It’s been years since such a big earthquake,’ said Daniel Ross, a resident in the eastern Cuban city of Guantanamo
Sephora Pierre Louis, another resident of Haiti’s capital, said: ‘In my neighborhood, I heard people screaming. They were flying outside. At least they know to go outside. In 2010, they didn´t know what to do. People are still outside in the street.’
The National Hurricane Center has forecasted that Tropical Storm Grace will reach Haiti late Monday night or early Tuesday morning.
‘This country just never finds a break!’ said Haitian entrepreneur Marc Alain Boucicault on Twitter.
The impoverished country, where many live in tenuous circumstances, is vulnerable to earthquakes and hurricanes.
The country is still recovering from a magnitude 7 earthquake closer to the capital 11 years ago that killed 250,000 people and flattened swathes of buildings, leaving more than a 1.5million homeless. A 5.9-magnitude earthquake that struck in 2018 killed more than a dozen people.
The 2010 quake destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes and administrative buildings and schools, not to mention 60 percent of Haiti’s healthcare system.
The rebuilding of the country’s main hospital remained incomplete as of this morning’s earthquake and nongovernmental organizations have struggled to make up for the state’s many deficiencies. +15
Homes have been destroyed and thousands are likely to have been killed, according to USGS+15
The earthquake rippled through Haiti at about 8.30 am local time +15
In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake (pictured) 1.5million Haitians were left homeless and administrative buildings and schools were destroyed, not to mention 60 percent of Haiti’s healthcare system.
Source: Dailymail UK