Haiti earthquake: Two killed and homes damaged in 5.3 magnitude tremor days after 2010 disaster anniversary
At least two people are dead and buildings have been damaged after back-to-back earthquakes struck Haiti on Monday morning.
The first 5.3-magnitude quake rocked Haiti’s southern peninsula, days after the anniversary of the 2010 disaster that left more than a quarter of a million people dead.
The quake, reported by the US Geological Survey (USGS), sent Haitians into the streets of Les Cayes, a city that experienced a major tremor six months ago.
USGS reported that the first earthquake occurred around 2miles south-southeast of Anse-à-Veau near the city of Les Cayes in the Nippes region at 8.16am (EST). The shock was also felt in the capital Port-au-Prince.
Around an hour later, a second tremor of 5.1magnitude was registered about 2.5miles west-southwest of Petite Rivière de Nippes.
Children ran from school buildings, according to Reuters. Jerry Chandler, director of Haiti‘s civil protection agency, told the news agency that searches were underway.
It was later reported that at least two people were killed and two others were injured. At least 35 homes have been damaged.
Yves Bossé, an elected official for the southern department of Nippes, told The Associated Press that one person died when the earthquake caused a landslide at a sand mine. He also said several homes were cracked and that businesses shut down for the day.
“People are scared to go back into their homes,” he said.
Sylvera Guillame, director of Haiti’s civil protection agency for the country’s southern region, told AP that schools in the area also closed and sent children home as a precaution.
On 12 January, Haitians gathered to mark the devastating, 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck the country 12 years ago, killing an estimated 316,000 people.
Prime Minister Ariel Henry and other government officials clad in black suits visited a monument topped by a large rock that commemorates the victims.
“We still have plenty to rebuild,” Mr Henry said. “January 12th did not destroy one house only. It destroyed the economy of the whole country. It’s going to take a long time to go back to the way we were before the quake.”
The quake destroyed more than 100,000 buildings and damaged another 200,000. Mr Henry said that billions of dollars were spent in the name of Haiti but that no one has proof of where part of that money went.
In August last year, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake rocked Haiti, killing more than 2,200 people and destroying or damaging some 137,500 homes and leaving residents to sleep in the open air.
The repeated disasters have left Haitians struggling with hunger, an economic crisis and deepening political chaos. The country’s president, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated at his private home in July.
Last week a Haitian-Chilean businessman considered a key suspect in Moïse’s killing appeared in US federal court and was accused of providing weapons to former Colombian soldiers charged with fatally shooting the Caribbean country’s leader.
Wires contributed to this report