Haiti struck by deadly earthquake
PORT AU PRINCE – At least ten people have been killed by an earthquake that struck off the north coast of Haiti at about 8:30 pm on Saturday night.
The magnitude 5.9 quake was one of the strongest to hit the Caribbean nation since the 7.3 magnitude earthquake in January 2010 killed more than 200,000 people.
Several buildings are reported to have been destroyed and a disaster response task force had been set up.
In the meantime, President Jovenel Moise has urged people to remain calm.
According to the US Geological Survey (USGS) said the epicentre of the tremor that struck late on Saturday was about 12 miles north-west of the city of Port-de-Paix.
The police chief for the north-west region, Jackson Hilaire, initially confirmed seven people died in Port-de-Paix, while the interior minister, Reynaldo Brunet, said three people had died further south in the town of Gros Morne.
According to an apparently geographically-challenged Sunday Express newspaper in Britain, Haiti is prone to earthquakes because “the island sits adjacent to major fault lines along the so-called ‘Ring of Fire’… a horseshoe-shaped belt running around the Pacific Ocean where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.”
An equally geographically-challenged “forecaster” in The Bahamas referred to the earthquake as occurring in the Mona Passage “between Haiti and Cuba”. The Mona Passage is actually located between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
According to reports from the Turks and Caicos Islands, light tremors were felt in Providenciales and Middle Caicos but no damage was reported. The USGS indicated similar reports had been received from Great Inagua in The Bahamas and in the eastern part of Cuba.