7.2 magnitude earthquake kills Haiti

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(Port-au-Prince) A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on Saturday morning, causing deaths and property damage in the southwest of the island and bringing back terrible memories of the great earthquake of 2010.

Posted on Aug 14, 2021 at 9:02 am Updated at 10:38 am

According to the American Institute of Geophysics (USGS), the earthquake occurred around 8:30 a.m. local time, 12 km from the city of Saint-Louis-du-Sud, which is about 160 km from the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince. .

A tsunami warning was issued in the wake of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency before it was quickly lifted.

“There are deaths, I confirm that, but I don’t have an accurate record yet,” Jerry Chandler, director of Haitian Civil Protection, told AFP.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry is on his way to the National Emergency Response Center in Port-au-Prince and is expected to speak at a press conference, Chandler added.


A damaged building by Jérémie

Collapsed houses

The long shock was felt across the country and property damage has already been recorded in several cities, as shown by pictures of witnesses published on social networks on the island’s southwestern peninsula.

“I was in my house when it started to shake, I was near a window and saw everything fall,” Christella Saint Hilaire, 21, who lives near the epicenter of the earthquake, told AFP.

“A piece of wall fell on my back, but I’m not too hurt,” the young woman continued. “Several houses have collapsed completely. “

On videos shared online, residents filmed the ruins of various concrete buildings, including a church where a ceremony apparently took place on Saturday morning in the town of Les Anglais, 200 km southwest of Port-au-Prince.


A ruined church in Jeremiah

According to Frantz Duval, editor of the Haitian daily Le Nouvelliste, “the coordination of the relief efforts is still ongoing,” he said on Twitter.

The poorest country in America remembers the January 12th 2010 earthquake that devastated the capital and several provincial cities.

Over 200,000 people were killed and over 300,000 others injured in the disaster.

More than one and a half million Haitians were then left homeless, posing the daunting challenge of rebuilding a country with no land registry or building regulations for the authorities and the international humanitarian community.

Thomas Lalime, columnist for Le Nouvelliste newspaper, regrets the few measures that have been taken since the earthquake 10 years ago. “We are just as vulnerable as we were in 2010, if not more vulnerable,” he said.

Without mastering this challenge of reconstruction, Haiti, which is also regularly hit by hurricanes, has plunged into an acute socio-political crisis in 10 years.

“Heavy memories of 2010”

The Mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, expressed her support for the Haitian people on her Twitter account.

“Heavy memories of 2010. From the bottom of my heart to the local people and the Montrealers of Haitian origin. My team and I will be closely monitoring the situation, ”she wrote.

With Florence Morin-Martel, La Presse

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