A major earthquake hit southwestern Haiti early Saturday, collapsing buildings and historical cathedrals in a nation still struggling to recover from a devastating quake that left more than 300,000 dead over a decade ago and was already in chaos after a presidential assassination last month.
At least 29 people had been confirmed dead, said Jerry Chandler, the head of Haiti’s Office of Civil Protection. Prime Minister Ariel Henry also declared a state of emergency for one month.
The United States Geological Surveyplaced the quake at magnitude at 7.2, as did the Puerto Rico Seismic Network, with the epicenter about 75 miles west of the capital of Port-au-Prince. If verified, it would make the seismic event stronger than the 7.0 quake that left much of the city in ruins 2010. Tremors were felt all the way in Jamaica.
There were additional unconfirmed reports of deaths, injuries and panic in some cities along the Tiburon, the country’s southwestern peninsula. It’s less densely populated than the capital but images posted on social media suggested there could be many more casualties. Some showed collapsed homes and the Catholic cathedral turned to rubble in Les Anglais, which is part of Jeremie in the Grand Anse region.
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