PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – A magnitude 5.9 earthquake shook northwestern Haiti late Saturday and there were early reports of damage and injuries, though the extent was not immediately clear. There were no immediate confirmed reports of deaths.
The U.S. Geologic Survey said the quake hit at 8:11 p.m. local time and was centered 12 miles northwest of Port-de-Paix on Haiti’s north coast. It was 7.3 miles below the surface.
The country’s civil protection agency issued a statement saying several people were injured and some houses destroyed in Port-de-Paix, Gros Morne, Chansolme and Turtle Island. Among the structures damaged was the Saint-Michel church in Plaisance.
It said other, largely minor injuries were treated in hospitals elsewhere.
The quake was felt lightly in the capital, Port-au-Prince, as well as in the neighboring Dominican Republic.
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.
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