- A violent earthquake hit southern Haiti in the Caribbean Sea. The USGS gave the force 7.2.
- Many deaths and massive destruction are feared, but the exact scale remains unclear.
- It is currently assumed at least 29 deaths. This was reported by the Haitian Press Network, citing the Civil Defense of Haiti.
According to this, 17 people were killed in the southwestern southwestern Grand Anse county and 12 in the South county. Among the dead was former Senator Jean-Gabriel Fortuny, who was buried, according to Gazette Haiti, under the ruins of his hotel in the city of Kayes, according to the German news agency.
Haiti’s interim Prime Minister Ariel Henry described the situation on Twitter as “tragic” and announced that the government would declare a state of emergency.
“I can confirm there have been deaths, but I don’t know the exact number yet,” the country’s head of civil protection, Jerry Chandler, told AFP.
According to official information, the earthquake occurred about 12 kilometers from the municipality of Saint-Louis-de-Sud and about 125 kilometers west of the capital, Port-au-Prince, at a depth of about ten kilometers.
The US Meteorological Service (NOAA) initially issued a tsunami warning after the current earthquake – but canceled it soon after. However, he advised people to be careful. The US Geological Survey (USGS) has declared a red alert with a possible fatality target: this means that a large number of casualties are possible. Similarities were also drawn to the 2010 earthquake. This occurred only about 75 kilometers east on the same peninsula.
The devastation caused by the current earthquake was largely open-ended at first. Gazette Haiti reported that five people were killed, including two children, in the southern city of Aquin, and many injured. Many homes were destroyed, as evidenced by photos and videos on social media. Entire parts of houses and walls collapsed.
An eyewitness from Les Cayes in the southwest, one of the largest cities in the country, told the Haiti News Network of the collapsed homes and hotels and that people were buried under the rubble. Diario Libre newspaper from the Dominican Republic published a video of the alleged moment when the earth shook in Haiti on Saturday morning.
Bad memories of the 2010 earthquake
Haiti’s densely populated capital, Port-au-Prince, was at the epicenter of an earthquake of similar magnitude in 2010. About 222,000 people were killed and more than 300,000 were injured as a result of the quake. More than a million people lost their homes. Damage from the earthquake was estimated at 8 billion US dollars (6.2 billion euros). Reconstruction also got off to a slow start due to political instability.
The poor Caribbean nation of Haiti is frequently hit by severe earthquakes. Recently, the political crisis plunged the country into more chaos. Haitian President Jovenel Moise was assassinated in July. He was ambushed and killed by a heavily armed soldier in his home.
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