Major Earthquake Strikes Haiti, Sending Shockwaves Across Caribbean

acred Heart church is damaged after an earthquake in Les Cayes, Haiti, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Delot Jean)
AP Photo/Delot Jean

A major earthquake hit the western portion of Haiti on Saturday, which sent shockwaves across the Caribbean, Reuters reported.

People fled their homes fearing the buildings might collapse, the outlet continued:

The 7.2-magnitude earthquake quake struck 8 km (5 miles) from the town of Petit Trou de Nippes, about 150 km west of the capital Port-au-Prince, at a depth of 10 km, the USGS said. That made the earthquake potentially bigger and shallower than the magnitude 7 earthquake that struck Haiti 11 years ago, killing tens if not hundreds of thousands of people, flattening buildings and leaving many homeless.

The U.S. Tsunami Warning System issued a tsunami warning after the quake, lifting it shortly thereafter, although Haitian media outlets reported some people along the coast had already fled to the mountains. Haiti’s Civil Protection service said on Twitter there were initial reports of likely casualties from its teams.

Meteorologist Zach Covey shared a map of the region and said the earthquake occurred at a depth of six miles:

“I can confirm that there are deaths, but I don’t yet have an exact toll,” Jerry Chandler, Haiti’s director of civil protection, told reporters. “We’re still collecting information”:

Economist Steve Hanke shared video footage reportedly showing the aftermath of the earthquake, debris and rubble littering what appeared to be a roadway:

In addition, ABC 7 News reporter Liz Kreutz retweeted images that were reportedly from the area and appeared to show people gathered outside collapsed buildings and a large church with a crack running up an outside wall:

An 11 Alive meteorologist said shallow earthquakes such as the recent one can be “very intense”:

Residents in the capital of Port-au-Prince also felt the tremor and ran into the streets, according to CBS News.

Thirty-four-year-old Naomi Verneus, who lives in Port-au-Prince, said she was awoken by the earthquake and felt her bed shaking.

“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,” she explained.

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