Major Earthquake Hits Haiti
A major earthquake measuring 7.0 magnitude on the Richter scale hit Haiti Tuesday evening at 5:53 EST. The initial quake lasted about a minute, followed by strong 5.9 and 5.5 aftershocks. The epicenter of Haiti’s earthquake was six miles west of Carrefour, just outside the capital city of Port-au-Prince.
The extent of the damage and loss of life has yet to be seen, but it is clear that the devastation is immense. Bill Dawson, Field Strategy Coordinator, emailed to say that the situation “is grave and urgent.”
“There are many injured all over the city. Major buildings, three and four stories, are down. … Neighbors who work for the UN report many injured, people carrying wounded through the streets,” Dawson said.
The population in the capital area is about 2 million people, living in dense urban communities. Catastrophic casualties and damage are expected, as Haiti’s weak infrastructure is not prepared for this kind of disaster.
In Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood, dozens of people gathered at the Veye-Yo community center, where a pastor led them in prayer. Members embraced each other as they tried to contact relatives back home.
Tony Jeanthenor said he had succeeding in reaching a family friend in Haiti who told of hearing people cry out for help from under debris.
“The level of anxiety is high,” Jeanthenor said. “Haiti has been through trauma since 2004, from coup d’etat to hurricanes, now earthquakes.” Associated Press
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