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7.2 magnitude earthquake hits Haiti; at least 304 killed

APTOPIX Haiti Earthquake
Posted at 9:22 AM, Aug 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-14 20:09:29-04

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Haiti’s civil protection agency says at least 304 people have been killed and 1,800 injured from a 7.2 magnitude earthquake striking the poor island nation.

U.S. Geological Survey officials said the quake struck 7 miles from the town of Saint-Louis du Sud, at a depth of 10 km, the USGS said. That is 78 miles west of the capital of Port-au-Prince.

The U.S. Tsunami Warning System said there was a tsunami warning after the quake.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry says he's rushing aid to areas where towns were destroyed and hospitals overwhelmed with incoming patients.

Henry declared a one-month state of emergency for the nation.

U.S. President Joe Biden authorized an immediate response and named USAID Administrator Samantha Power as the senior official coordinating the U.S effort to help Haiti.

"High casualties are probable and the disaster is likely widespread" and that "past events with this alert level have required a national or international level response," USGS officials said.

According to the Associated Press, people in the capital of Port-au-Prince felt the tremor, and many of them rushed out into the streets in fear.

The impoverished country is vulnerable to earthquakes and hurricanes.

The National Hurricane Center has forecasted that Tropical Storm Grace will reach Haiti late Monday night or early Tuesday morning.