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.
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
The US Tsunami Warning System has not issued a tsunami warning after the quake but within hours the USGS estimated ‘thousands of fatalities’ and ‘tens of thousands of injuries in poor mountainous communities’.
The quake, which was felt in Cuba and Jamaica, comes just over a month after Haiti’s president, Jovenel Moïse, was murdered at his residence in Port-au-Prince.
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 many homeless.
‘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.
The US Tsunami Warning System has issued a tsunami warning after the quake
The quake had a depth of six miles, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said
‘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
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.’