PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Emergency teams worked to provide relief in Haiti on Sunday after a magnitude 5.9 earthquake killed 11 people and left 135 injured.
The country's civil protection agency said that at least seven people died in the coastal city of Port-de-Paix and three people died in the nearby community of Gros-Morne in the province of Artibonite. It said that the injured were being treated at medical centers in the northern part of the country.
Secretary of State for Communications Eddy Jackson Alexis said a preliminary report indicated that 11 people had died.
Je suis en route pour Port-de-Paix et Gros morne. Je vais m’enquérir personnellement de la situation, suite au passage du séisme. Je veux m’assurer que l’appareil étatique est mobilisé à fond pour venir en aide aux victimes. pic.twitter.com/pdmbFiJgPW— Président Jovenel Moïse (@moisejovenel) October 7, 2018
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake hit at 8:11 p.m. Saturday night (001 GMT) and was centered 12 miles (19 kilometers) northwest of Port-de-Paix, which is about 136 miles (219 kilometers) from the capital of Port-au-Prince. The quake was 7.3 miles (11.7 kilometers) below the surface.
It was felt lightly in the capital, as well as in the neighboring Dominican Republic and in eastern Cuba.
The civil protection agency issued a statement saying that some houses were destroyed in Port-de-Paix, Gros Morne, Chansolme and Turtle Island. Among the structures damaged was the Saint-Michel church in Plaisance.
Rescue workers reported the collapse of part of a hospital in Gros-Morne and an auditorium as the quake hit on a rainy evening. They also reported damage at the police station in Port-de-Paix.
Parliamentarian Alcide Audne told The Associated Press that two of the deaths occurred in the auditorium.
Haiti President Jovenel Moise indicated in his Twitter account Sunday that civil protection brigades were working to clear debris and help victims. He also said the government had sent water and food.
Impoverished Haiti, where many live in tenuous circumstances, is especially vulnerable to earthquakes. A vastly larger magnitude 7.1 quake damaged much of the capital in 2010 and killed an estimated 300,000 people.