Miami Herald:- At least seven deaths have been confirmed following an earthquake in northwest Haiti.
A magnitude 5.9 earthquake shook the island late Saturday night, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
At least five of the deaths were registered in the the Port-de-Paix area, Jerry Chandler, the head of the country’s Civil Protection disaster response unit, told the Miami Herald.
Haitian officials are expecting the death toll to go up and were preparing to deploy to the area early Sunday. Eddy Jackson Alexis. the secretary of state for communications, said the ministries of interior and health had received reports of at least seven dead, including in Gros Morne, a community in the Artibonite region.
Tremors were felt throughout the country, triggering panic. At least two aftershocks were also registered, according to Civil Protection.
“I urge the population to keep calm, following the passage of the earthquake whose epicenter is located in the northwest coast,” Haiti President Jovenel Moïse posted on Twitter. “The (disaster)risk management system and the regional branches of the Civil Protection are on standby to assist the inhabitants of the affected areas.”
Minutes after the quake, reports started trickling in about houses, a Catholic church and the main police station in Port-de-Paix being destroyed or damaged.
The earthquake occurred about 12 miles north of Port-de-Paix in northwest Haiti.
Several people were injured, mainly in rainy Port-de-Paix, Gros-Morne, Chansolme and on Ile de la Tortue. In Port-de-Paix the injured were ultimately treated in private hospitals because there were no doctors at the public hospital.