Magnitude 5.9 earthquake hits northern Haiti, killing at least one
A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck near the northernmost tip of Haiti late on Saturday, injuring a number of people and causing some damage to buildings including an auditorium that collapsed, authorities and media reported.
The quake struck about 20 kilometres west-northwest of the port of Port-de-Paix, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said. Local media reported at least one death.
The quake was one of the strongest to hit Haiti since a 7.0 magnitude quake struck near the capital Port-au-Prince in 2010, killing thousands of people in the impoverished Caribbean country.
In a post on Twitter, Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise urged people to remain calm after the civil protection agency said the quake caused injuries and panic in northern towns.
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Le Nouvelliste newspaper said one person died when an auditorium collapsed in the town of Gros Morne, and that detainees were released from a police holding cell that was damaged. Reuters could not immediately confirm the report.
The tremor damaged the facade of a church in the town of Plaisance and a house next door collapsed, Frantz Duval, a journalist with Le Nouvelliste, said on Twitter.
Initial reports on social media said Saturday’s quake was felt in Port-au-Prince but had not caused major damage there.