Aftermath video Haiti earthquake

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake has struck off the coast of Haiti earlier today at 21:53 UTC, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS), no tsunami warning was issued, contradicting some media reports that said there was one in place. The quake’s magnitude was revised down from an initial report of 7.3 on the Richter scale.

The USGS reports that the epicentre was fifteen kilometres (ten miles) southwest of Port-au-Prince and 1,140 kilometers (708 miles) southeast of Miami, Florida, at a depth of ten kilometers.

According to USGS analyst Dale Grant, this tremor was “the largest quake recorded in this area”; the last strong quake was in 1984, and had a magnitude of 6.7, he noted.

“Everybody is just totally, totally freaked out and shaken. The sky is just gray with dust,” said Henry Bahn, an official with the US Department of Agriculture who was visiting in Haiti and a witness to the incident. “I just held on and bounced across the wall. I just hear a tremendous amount of noise and shouting and screaming in the distance,” he commented, as quoted by the Associated Press.

No deaths have yet been reported, however, a hospital in Port-au-Prince was damaged, and a US government official said several houses fell into a ravine. An analyst for USGS in Colorado commented that there could be many deaths from an earthquake of this strength. “I think we are going to see substantial damage and casualties,” he said.

List of aftershocks from the quake.

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