The 7.2-magnitude quake, which was adopted by a sequence of aftershocks, struck 8 km (5 miles) from the city of Petit Trou de Nippes, about 150 km west of the capital Port-au-Prince, at a depth of 10 km, the USGS mentioned.
That made the earthquake probably greater and shallower than the magnitude 7 earthquake that struck Haiti 11 years in the past . That quake killed tens of hundreds if not a whole lot of hundreds of individuals, flattening buildings and leaving many homeless in what was already the poorest nation within the Americas.
This one – which occurred round 8:30 a.m. native time – hit farther away from the capital, nevertheless. In Port-au-Prince, it was strongly felt however didn’t seem to have prompted main injury, based on Reuters witnesses, which means there’ll doubtless be fewer fatalities than the devastating 2010 catastrophe.
The closest massive city was Les Cayes, with a inhabitants of round 126,000, the place two residents advised Reuters a serious resort and different buildings had collapsed.
“I current my sympathies to the dad and mom of the victims of this violent earthquake that has prompted the lack of a number of lives and materials injury in numerous provinces,” Prime Minister Ariel Henry mentioned on Twitter, within the first official affirmation of fatalities.
USGS mentioned “excessive casualties are possible and the catastrophe is probably going widespread.”
In Les Cayes, locals mentioned water had briefly flooded the coastal city, inflicting panic amid worry of a tsunami, however then appeared to retreat. Haitian media shops reported some individuals alongside the coast had already fled to the mountains.
The U.S. Tsunami Warning System issued a tsunami warning after the quake, lifting it shortly thereafter.
‘NEVER A BREAK’
The earthquake comes as Haiti is already mired in intertwined political, humanitarian and safety crises.
The federal government is in turmoil, a month after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, whereas swaths of the nation are going through rising starvation and healthcare companies are overwhelmed by COVID-19. Entry to the southern area, the place the quake struck, has been restricted by gang management of key areas.
That area had solely not too long ago recovered from Hurricane Matthew, which struck in 2016, killing a whole lot and inflicting widespread devastation. Haiti is now within the cone of Tropical Storm Grace which may carry heavy rains early subsequent week.
“This nation simply by no means finds a break! Every year of mismanagement didn’t damage however the cumulative results made us susceptible to the whole lot,” mentioned Haitian entrepreneur Marc Alain Boucicault on Twitter.
“Its going to take years to sort things and we’ve not even began!”
In Port-au-Prince, residents traumatized by the 2010 quake rushed, screaming, into the streets and stayed there because the aftershocks rumbled on.
“In my neighborhood, I heard individuals screaming. They have been flying outdoors,” mentioned resident Sephora Pierre Louis. “A minimum of they know to go outdoors. In 2010, they didn’t know what to do. Persons are nonetheless outdoors on the street.”
The quake was felt so far as Cuba and Jamaica though there have been no reviews of fabric injury, deaths or accidents there.
“Everybody is absolutely afraid. It has been years since such an enormous earthquake,” mentioned Daniel Ross, a resident within the jap Cuban metropolis of Guantanamo.
He mentioned his dwelling stood agency however the furnishings shook.
“I really feel it, man. It wake me up. My roof form of make some noise,” mentioned Danny Bailey, 49, in Kingston.
The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) additionally reported a quake within the area, saying it was magnitude 7.6, whereas Cuba’s seismological centre mentioned it registered a magnitude of seven.4.