An earthquake struck off of the northern coast of Haiti late on Saturday. It is being reported that the quake killed at least 11 people and injured more than a hundred when several buildings collapsed in the impoverished Caribbean country, according to officials.
The earthquake had a magnitude of 5.9 quake and was centered about 12 miles west-northwest of the coastal town of Port-de-Paix, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
Jackson Hilaire, the police chief for the northwest region, announced earlier that at least seven people were killed and more than 100 injured in Port-de-Paix. Another four people were reported dead in and around the town of Gros-Morne further south, which includes a boy who was struck by a falling building, said mayor Jean Renel Tide.
This earthquake was one of the strongest to hit Haiti since 2010, when a 7.0 magnitude quake struck near the capital, Port-au-Prince and killed tens of thousands of people.
In a post on Twitter, President Jovenel Moise urged the people of Haiti to remain calm after the civil protection agency reported the latest quake had caused outbreaks of panic in northern towns following the commotion.
The agency said that Port-de-Paix, Gros-Morne, the town of Chansolme and the island of Tortuga were the cities to suffer some of the worst damage across the coast. They also reported that some houses were destroyed.
Le Nouvelliste newspaper said that one person in particular was killed when an auditorium collapsed in Gros-Morne and that detainees were released from a police holding cell that was damaged.The tremor also damaged the facade of a church in the town of Plaisance and a house next door collapsed, the paper said.
Saturday’s quake was felt in Port-au-Prince, but initial reports via Twitter said that it had not caused major damage there.