At least 10 die after 5.9-magnitude natural disaster strikes Haiti

5.9 quake strikes Haiti, shaking & damaging buildings

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake hit at 8:11 p.m. yesterday (local time) and was centred 12 miles northwest of Port-de-Paix, which is about 136 miles from the capital.

The country's civil protection agency has since issued a statement outlining that the quake has caused damage to several buildings, including an auditorium that collapsed.

He urged residents to remain calm and said civil protection workers are on alert.

This is Haiti's biggest quake since the 7.3 magnitude natural disaster struck near the capital, Port-au-Prince, in 2010 that killed over 230,000 of people and cost the already impoverished nation US$7.8 billion to $8.5 billion in damage.

Impoverished Haiti, where many live in tenuous circumstances, is vulnerable to earthquakes and hurricanes.

An quake hit northern Haiti late on Saturday, killing at least 14 people, injuring more than 100 and sparking a scramble by rescue agencies to help towns in the impoverished Caribbean country battered by the shockwave.

AFP journalists in the Caribbean nation of 11 million reported strong shaking, felt around the coastal city of Port-de-Paix.

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A total of at least 12 people were killed in the quake, Interior Minister Fednel Monchery told radio station MAGK9.

The Miami Herald said however that at least seven people had been killed.

In Haiti, officials have struggled to shore up buildings despite the two major fault lines along Hispaniola, which is the island shared with the Dominican Republic. Others tilted at precarious angles.

Homes and a hospital were also reported to have been destroyed by the natural disaster.

One said: "It woke the dogs up". Some houses were destroyed, it said.

The tremor also damaged the facade of a church in the town of Plaisance and a house next door collapsed, the paper said.

General Coordinator of the Cuban Medical Brigade, Evelio Betancourt, said that two surgical teams were sent to support Haitian health personnel. A vastly larger magnitude 7.1 quake damaged much of the capital in 2010 and killed an estimated 300,000 people.

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