More than 300 dead and 1,800 injured in Haiti after 7.2 . earthquake

The massive 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck around 8:30 a.m. local time and was felt all over Haiti, including the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Jamaica, according to local media.

According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake occurred 8 kilometers from the town of Petite-Trou de Nieps on the Tiburon Peninsula, 150 kilometers west of the capital, Port-au-Prince, at a depth of 10 kilometers. The US Tsunami Center in Hawaii issued a warning of waves of one to three meters in height, but it pulled the alarm off rather quickly.

However, the NOAA Weather Service is calling on residents to be vigilant. Near the epicenter, sea level can vary by one foot. You should also be wary of the aftershocks of the earthquake, because the ground is still trembling in Haiti. The strongest earthquake to date had a magnitude of 5.2, and two shocks of magnitude 5.1, according to the American Geophysical Institute website.

More than 300 dead already

The earthquake caused at least 304 deaths. Previously there were a total of 227 deaths. There are also 1,800 wounded and many missing. The Civil Defense confirmed that hospitals are still receiving injuries. The US Geological Survey assessed the risk of a large number of casualties immediately after the earthquake as “probable”, with damage to a large area of ​​the Caribbean nation.

Severe damage occurred, especially in southwestern Haiti. Photos and videos on social networks show that many buildings have been destroyed. There are also circulating images of a collapsed church and other destroyed buildings in Jeremy, a city of 100,000 inhabitants which, according to the Red Cross, has been as badly damaged in terms of damage as the devastating earthquake in Jeremy. 11 years ago. Also in Les Cayes, one of the largest cities in the country, there is extensive damage. An eyewitness spoke of the collapse of houses, hotels and people buried under the rubble.

emergency situation

The tragic situation prompted Prime Minister Ariel Henry to declare a state of emergency. He promised to mobilize all possible assistance to help the victims. “We will move quickly,” he said.

US President Joe Biden also ordered immediate assistance. Coordination is in the hands of former UN Ambassador Samantha Power, who heads the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

AP . image
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Denton Watson

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