A powerful earthquake struck Haiti Saturday morning, resulting in reports of considerable damage to buildings in the Caribbean country and warnings of 'high casualties.'
The preliminary 7.2-magnitude tremor occurred 12 km northeast of Saint-Louis du Sud, Haiti, on Saturday morning, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). It registered at a depth of 10 km.
The USGS stated there is a red alert for shaking-related fatalities.
"High casualties are probable and the disaster is likely widespread. Past events with this alert level have required a national or international level response," the USGS said.
According to Haiti's civil protection service, at least 29 people have died as a result of the powerful earthquake.
There is no longer a tsunami threat, according to the NOAA/National Weather Service.
The quake was reportedly felt across the Caribbean, as people began to evaucate their homes over concern they may collapse.
Photos and videos posted on social media showed major damage to buildings. The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said in a tweet there were many reports of building collapses in several locations including Les Anglais, Jérémie and Les Cayes.
Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry stated on Twitter that he and other authority figures will visit the most devastated areas, and that the government has been mobilized to assess the damage and provide support.
As well, disaster officials with the USAID are in Haiti and currently reviewing the damage, the U.S. agency’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance tweeted.
The USGS reported a 5.2-magnitude aftershock, occurring about 20 kilometres west-northwest of Cavaillon, Haiti.
The country is still recovering from the devastating earthquake that struck on Jan. 12, 2010. The death toll ranged between 100,000 to 160,000, and 220,000 to 316,000, depending on the reports. It injured hundreds of thousands more.
VIDEO: THE CATASTROPHIC 2010 EARTHQUAKE
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