5.9-magnitude natural disaster shakes Haiti, killing at least 12

Haiti earthquake

A magnitude 5.9 quake struck off the northwestern tip of Haiti Saturday evening.

The epicenter of the quake was located about 19 kilometres northwest of the city of Port-de-Paix, the US Geological Survey reported.

Four people were said to have been killed in and around the town of Gros-Morne further south, including a woman who died from a heart attack.

According to a statement from the country's Civil Protection agency, several people were injured in Port-de-Paix, Gros-Morne, Chansolme and Tortuga island, where houses were destroyed or damaged.

According to Reuters, the natural disaster has left 14 dead so far, mainly in Port de Paix and Gros Morne in Artibonite near the quake's epicenter that struck at a depth of 11.7 kilometers, 20 km off Haiti's northwest coast, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The agency said damage and injuries were mostly concentrated in the northwest region of the island, where two minor aftershocks were also felt, the agency said.

President Jovenel Moise urged people to donate blood and asked global aid agencies to coordinate with local agencies to avoid duplicated efforts.

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On Sunday, an aftershock of magnitude 5.2 hit the country, reported AP.

He urged residents to remain calm and said civil protection workers are on alert.

The Nord-Ouest department is the poorest part of impoverished Haiti, with many areas isolated due to the dire state of the roads.

The Cuban ambassador to Haiti, Luis Castillo, confirmed to Prensa Latina that the embassy went undamaged.

The quake struck at 8:10 pm (0010 GMT Sunday) at a shallow depth of 11.7 kilometers. Another 30 were injured in Gros-Morne.

Some houses in the worst-affected areas were destroyed by the quake, the agency said. The tremor also damaged the facade of a church in Plaisance and a house next door collapsed, the paper said. Tens of thousands of people are still displaced as a result of the quake. Parliamentarian Alcide Audne told The Associated Press that two of the deaths occurred in the auditorium.

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