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7.0 magnitude earthquake hits off the coast of Haiti

14August 2021

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People in the capital of Port-au-Prince felt the tremor and many rushed into the streets in fear.

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Haiti on Saturday, with the epicenter 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) northeast of Saint-Louis du Sud, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

People in the capital of Port-au-Prince felt the tremor and many rushed into the streets in fear, although there did not appear to be damage there.

Naomi Verneus, a 34-year-old resident of Port-au-Prince, said she was jolted awake by the earthquake and that her bed was shaking.

“I woke up and didn’t have time to put my shoes on. We lived the 2010 earthquake and all I could do was run. I later remembered my two kids and my mother were still inside. My neighbor went in and told them to get out. We ran to the street,” Verneus said.

The impoverished country, where many live in tenuous circumstances, is vulnerable to earthquakes and hurricanes. It was struck by a magnitude 5.9 earthquake in 2018 that killed more than a dozen people, and a vastly larger magnitude 7.1 quake that damaged much of the capital in 2010 and killed an estimated 300,000 people.

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

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