A major magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Haiti early Saturday morning as a tropical cyclone Grace competed for the island, potentially complicating rescue operations.
According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm is expected to arrive midnight on Monday or early morning on Tuesday. The quake caused a comparison with the 2010 catastrophic quake that killed an estimated 300,000 people. According to the US Geological Survey..
“There are likely to be many casualties and disasters can be widespread.” According to the USGS. “Past events at this alert level required national or international level response.”
Saturday’s epicenter struck 12.5km from Saint-Louis du Sud, A small coastal town in western Haiti, about 100 miles from Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
Seismologist Lucy Jones tweeted, “The damage shouldn’t be as bad as in 2010, as the quake caused Port-au-Prince to sway intensity VII.” However, she warned that “the losses will be significant,” as the quake’s tremors affected about 130,000 people.
Haiti’s new prime minister, Ariel Henry, said on Twitter that he would mobilize all available government resources after a “severe earthquake” that caused loss of life and damage in different parts of the country. He asked the Haitians to unite to “confront this dramatic situation in which we are living now.”
Wave to about 10 feet predicted on some coastlines in Haiti.. According to the US tsunami warning system, the tsunami threats issued in the region have since passed.
The country is still recovering from the magnitude 7 earthquake that destroyed the country in 2010. Most recently, a magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck in 2018, killing more than 12 people.
The quake was felt up to Jamaica, 200 miles away. The New York Times reported.. According to the newspaper, at least two cities, Les Cayes and Jeremy, reported great devastation.
Widchell Augustin from Les Cayes told The New York Times that many people were trapped under the rubble of a collapsed building.
“I can hear people screaming under the rubble,” he said. “People go back and forth to the hospital.”
According to the Associated Press, the Port-au-Prince people rushed into the streets in horror after feeling the quake.
Naomi Vernus, 34, who lives in Port-au-Prince, said she was awake when the bed began to shake.
“I woke up and didn’t have time to put on my shoes. We lived in the 2010 earthquake and all I could do was run,” she said.
The quake occurs just a month after the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise left the country in political turmoil.
Contribution: Associated Press
Contact NewsNow reporter Christine Fernando ([email protected]) or follow her on Twitter. @christinetfern..
This article was originally published in USA TODAY: Haiti Earthquake: The Blessings of Tropical Cyclones Approach