A powerful 5.9 earthquake off the coast of Haiti has caused deaths and major damage. The USGS registered the quake some 19 km off Ti Port-de-Paix, at a depth of 11.7 km. Tremors were felt throughout the country. At least two aftershocks were also registered. A number of persons panicked and threw themselves from their balconies. At least 12 people have died and hundreds have been injured in the wake of the earthquake.
An auditorium has reportedly collapsed in the northern part of the country, while a local police station has also been damaged, forcing police to release detainees from custody as a precaution. The entire side of a church has collapsed and major damage has also been reported to schools, and to at least one hotel. In overall dozens of homes and private buildings have been damaged or destroyed in the northern region of Haiti.
A number of persons panicked and threw themselves from the balconies of their houses and several among them are dead, with quite a few seriously injureds. Dozens of injured people were brought to the Hospital of the Immaculate Conception, where the services have been overwhelmed. Haitian officials are expecting the death toll to go up.
President Jovenel Moïse urged the people to remain calm noting that “risk management system and the regional civil Protection directorates” have been activated to help the affected area.
A 7.0 earthquake in January 2010, with an epicenter just west of Port-au-Prince, killed over 220,000 people and left some 300,000 injured. Overall, around five million people were displaced by the quake when it struck the poorest country in the western hemisphere.