More than 300 people have been killed in a powerful earthquake in the Caribbean nation of Haiti on Saturday morning. The quake, which measured 7.2 on the Richter scale, injured at least 2,000 people and damaged tens of thousands of homes.
The epicenter was reported 160 kilometers south of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. There were seven aftershocks in a radius of eight kilometers. Numerous damages are reported from Haiti. Many buildings, including churches and hotels, were destroyed in the quake.
Jerry Chandler, the head of the country’s civil protection agency, announced the toll in the country. The quake struck just days before a tropical storm was expected. Prime Minister Ariel Henry said all available government services will be made available to help victims in flood-affected areas.
He declared a month-long state of emergency across the country and said at a press conference that international assistance would not be sought until the extent of the damage was known. Videos posted on social media show collapsed buildings near the source and people running into the streets.
People in Port-au-Prince felt the quake and many fled to the streets in fear but there was no damage.
Naomi Vernius, 34, of Port-au-Prince, said she was awake when the quake struck and her bed was shaking at the time.
The country experiences earthquakes and hurricanes several times. . A magnitude 5.9 earthquake in 2018 killed at least several people. A magnitude 7.1 earthquake in 2010 devastated much of the capital and killed at least 300,000 people.