Haiti Hit with a 7.3 Magnitude Earthquake
The ground shook as a 7.3 magnitude quake emanated from 10 miles (15 km) southwest of the capital Port-au-Prince at 16:53 local time (2153 GMT), the US Geological Survey said. Two strong aftershocks followed with magnitudes 5.9 and 5.5 respectively.
Tsunami watch was hoisted over Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba and the Bahamas. Tsunami warnings were given to coasts within 60 miles (100 km) of the epicenter.
A hospital and some other buildings were initially reported to have collapsed. Some of those who have felt it, some as far as Jamaica, said the ground swayed for about a minute.
“I think it’s really a catastrophe of major proportions,” Haiti’s ambassador to the US, Raymond Alcide Joseph, described.
The country rarely experience earthquakes with the last strong one occurring in 1770. 80% of the population lives in poverty and is considered the poorest country in the western hemisphere.