Haiti earthquake: Red alert issued after 7.2 magnitude quake – thousands feared dead

THOUSANDS of people are feared dead after a massive 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti earlier today, with a red alert being issued for affected areas.

Haiti: Port-Salut struck by 7.0 magnitude earthquake

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Thousands of people are feared to be dead after a major earthquake was reported earlier today near the Haiti region. Jerry Chandler, Haiti’s director of civil protection, said: “I can confirm that there are deaths, but I don’t yet have an exact toll.” “We’re still collecting information.” The US Geological Survey (USGS) estimated “thousands of fatalities” and “tens of thousands of injuries in poor mountainous communities” have occurred.

They further added there was a 35 percent chance of fatalities ranging between 1,000 and 10,000, and a 35 percent chance of economic losses in the tens of millions.

As of 8.45pm UK time, 227 were killed from the earthquake. 

The USGS said around an hour after the quake: “High casualties are probable and the disaster is likely widespread.”

Footage from the scene showed severe damage to buildings in the city of Jeremie, about 125 miles west of the capital Port-au-Prince.

Another video showed a scene of chaos in Les Cayes, where a building had collapsed into a street.


Haiti Earthquake. (Image: Google Maps)

Map of Haiti

Thousands of people are feared dead after an earthquake was reported earlier today in Haiti. (Image: Google Maps)

The earthquake was slightly more powerful than the devastating quake of 2010, which killed more than 300,000 people, according to the government at the time.

An aftershock measuring 6.6 occurred about 20 minutes after the earthquake as people checked collapsed buildings and surveyed the damage in the streets.

The quake occurred shortly before 8.30am local time and was felt across the Caribbean.

Haiti’s civil protection agency said that homes had collapsed and there were fears of fatalities following the tremor.

READ MORE: Haiti tsunami warning: ‘Hazardous’ tsunami forecast hits Caribbean

Building 2010

This was the devastation that occurred in 2010 following a similar earthquake. (Image: Getty)

Naomi Verneus, a 34-year-old resident of Port-au-Prince, said she was jolted awake by the earthquake and that her bed was shaking.

Ms Verneus said: “I woke up and didn’t have time to put my shoes on. We lived the 2010 earthquake and all I could do was run. I later remembered my two kids and my mother were still inside. My neighbour went in and told them to get out. We ran to the street.”

Daniel Ross, a resident in the eastern Cuban city of Guantanamo said: “Everyone is really afraid. It’s been years since such a big earthquake.”

He added that his home stood firm but the furniture shook.


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Rubble 2010

The image shows the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake that killed around 300,000 people. (Image: Getty)

Rubble 2010 2

The earthquake in 2010 was .2 weaker and left the country devastated for many years. (Image: Getty)

Early reports indicated that the earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.0, that has now changed to 7.2, and took place around 60 miles west of the capital.

The depth of the earthquake is estimated to be at around six miles.

Hazardous tsunami waves are not expected as a result of the tremour.

According to seismologists, minor wave fluctuations of up to 30cm can occur.

The statement added that “the earthquake has passed and there is no further threat”.

The authorities of each country that could be affected were issued with a warning.

Heavy ground shaking is reportedly to be expected in the western peninsula.

Serious damage to structurally weak buildings and other infrastructure is also likely to occur.

The earthquake was reportedly felt all over Haiti, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.

Roy Walsh

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