A magnitude 7.2 earthquake shook Haiti on Saturday morning, causing deaths and property damage southwest of the island and restoring horrific memories of the great earthquake of 2010.
According to the American Institute of Geophysics (USGS), the quake struck at 8:30 a.m. local time, 12 kilometers from the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, 160 kilometers from the city of St. Louis-du-Sud. .
A tsunami alert was issued before the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency was quickly lifted.
“I have confirmed deaths, but I do not have an exact record yet,” Haitian Civil Defense Director Jerry Chandler told AFP.
Prime Minister Ariel Henry is on his way to the National Emergency Operations Center in Port-au-Prince and will have the opportunity to speak at a press conference, Chandler said.
According to eyewitness pictures of the island’s southwest peninsula published on social networks, the country has experienced a long shock and physical damage has already been recorded in several cities.
“When it started to move I was inside my house, I was near a window and I saw all the objects falling,” said Crystella St. Hilar, 21, who lives near the epicenter.
“The back of the wall fell on my back, but I was not seriously injured,” the young woman continued. “Many houses have completely collapsed.”
In videos shared online, residents filmed the ruins of various concrete buildings, including a church, during a Saturday morning celebration in the town of Les Angles, 200 kilometers southwest of Port – Prince.
The January 12, 2010 earthquake that devastated the capital and many provincial towns is still remembered by the poorest nation in America.
The disaster killed 200,000 people and injured more than 300,000.
More than a million Haitians have been made homeless, putting authorities and the international humanitarian community ahead of the massive challenge of reconstruction in a country without land registers or building codes.
Unable to meet this reconstruction challenge, Haiti, which has been plagued by regular cyclones, has been mired in a serious socio-political crisis for ten years.