People stand outside their home after it was damaged in an earthquake, that hit northern Haiti late on Saturday, in Port-de-Paix, Haiti, October 8, 2018. (Reuters)
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PORT AU PRINCE – The death toll has climbed by 15 and more than 300 people injured as Haiti Monday assesses the damage caused by several earthquakes that hit the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country over the last weekend.
The Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC) said the “partial assessment of the earthquake of October 6, 2018 is 15 dead” and that most of those killed were in Port-de-Paix, north-west of here.
It said at 333 people were injured and treated in hospitals in the northwest and that more than 7 000 houses have been destroyed or damaged.
The 5.9 magnitude earthquake on Saturday night was followed by several aftershocks, with one registering 5.2 and another 4.2.
The DPC said that the quake caused the damage to the central police station of Port-de-Paix and that Civil Protection teams are at work across assessing the damage. It has called on people to keep calm and not to rely on rumours.
President Jovenel Moise, accompanied by several ministers including Prime Minister Jean Henry Céant has visited several areas devastated by the quake.
Meanwhile, CARICOM countries are expressing sympathy and condolences to the government of Haiti as a result of the quake, the strongest earthquake to hit Haiti since 2010 when the country was devastated by a 7.3 magnitude quake that left more than 220 000 people dead and over 300 000 injured.
St Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has called on citizens to keep the people of Haiti in “all our thoughts and prayers.
“Right now the fear is that there will be strong aftershocks. These are our brothers and sisters in Haiti who have suffered immensely and are now living in fear and this may create panic. We also know that the people of Haiti are still recovering from the devastating 2010 earthquake.
“We must continue to offer support where we can, especially at the OECS and CARICOM levels. Our deepest condolences go out to the families of the victims and to those injured in this most recent earthquake,” he said in a statement.
The Bahamas government said it is in contact with The Bahamas’ Embassies in Haiti and Cuba as it relates to the safety of Bahamians.
“Initial reports from our Embassies indicate that Bahamians residing in Haiti and Cuba are safe. Further, the Commonwealth of The Bahamas has extended sincere sympathy to the Republic of Haiti following the devastating impact of this tragic event. The Ministry will endeavour to inform the general public of new developments relating to this issue as deemed necessary,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
The United States has also indicated a willingness to assist as it send condolences to all affected in Haiti.
“The United States and Haiti are strategic partners and friends, and we stand ready to assist in the relief effort, if requested,” Washington said. (CMC)