Haitians deal with the immediate aftermath of devastating earthquake
Authorities report that at least 227 people have been confirmed dead and hundreds more are wounded or missing. The prime minister has declared a state of emergency.
People fled their homes for fear that buildings might collapse when the magnitude 7.2 tremor struck at approximately 8.30am.
A 5.2 magnitude aftershock was also recorded about 20 minutes after the initial shaking, several smaller shocks followed.
The epicentre of the quake was 8km (5 miles) from the town of Petit Trou de Nippes, about 150km west of the capital Port-au-Prince. Two hotels in the town of Les Cayes have collapsed and hospitals are overwhelmed.
Haiti is still recovering from a devastating earthquake in 2010 much nearer the densely populated capital that is believed to have killed as many as 300,000 people.
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Tsunami threat issues for Haiti following quake
A tsunami threat has been issued for Haiti following this morning’s earthquake.
Waves could reach between one and three metres in height above tide level on some coasts.
There is no threat to US coastal areas.
Oliver O’Connell14 August 2021 15:33
First images emerge on social media
Pictures of rubble-strewn streets and collapsed buildings have appeared on social media.
Oliver O’Connell14 August 2021 15:34
Quake is bigger than 2010 tremor that devastated country
Today’s earthquake had a magnitude of 7.2 making it stronger than the 7.0 quake that devastated the country in 2010 leaving hundreds of thousands dead and flattening large parts of the capital Port-au-Prince.
Here’s our coverage of the tragedy eleven and half years ago.
Oliver O’Connell14 August 2021 15:43
More images of the destruction
Oliver O’Connell14 August 2021 15:50
USGS: ‘high casualties’ predicted
The US Geological Survey predicts that “high casualties” are likely and the damage is widespread following this morning’s 7.2 magnitude tremor.
There is no official word yet on any number of fatalities or injuries.
The agency also predicts that economic losses could amount to three per cent of Haiti’s gross domestic product.
Oliver O’Connell14 August 2021 15:53
Epicentre in the west of the country
The epicentre of the earthquake was in the west of the country 8km (5 miles) from the town of Petit Trou de Nippes, about 150km west of the capital Port-au-Prince.
Oliver O’Connell14 August 2021 16:02
Accounts from Port-a-Prince
Firsthand accounts are emerging from Haiti.
From the Associated Press:
Naomi Verneus, a 34-year-old resident of Port-au-Prince, said she was jolted awake by the earthquake and that her bed was 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,” Verneus said.
“In my neighborhood, I heard people screaming. They were flying outside,” said Port-au-Prince resident Sephora Pierre Louis, adding she was still in a state of shock. “At least they know to go outside. In 2010, they didn’t know what to do. People are still outside in the street.”
Oliver O’Connell14 August 2021 16:11
Tropical Storm Grace is also bearing down on Haiti
Complicating any recovery effort is the fact that the earthquake has struck during the height of the hurricane season.
The US National Hurricane Center has forecasted that Tropical Storm Grace will reach Haiti late Monday night or early Tuesday morning.
Oliver O’Connell14 August 2021 16:15
Video of rescue attempts
People are climbing through the rubble trying to rescue trapped family and friends in the latest video out of Haiti.
Oliver O’Connell14 August 2021 16:18
Quake felt across the Caribbean
“Everyone is really afraid. It’s been years since such a big earthquake,” Daniel Ross, a resident in the eastern Cuban city of Guantanamo told Reuters. He added that his home stood firm but the furniture shook.
Cuban authorities said there were no reports yet of material damage, deaths, or injuries.
In Kingston, Jamaica, Danny Bailey told Reuters: “I feel it, man. It wake me up. My roof kind of make some noise.”
Oliver O’Connell14 August 2021 16:24