Sunday morning, April 6, just before 7:30am, an earthquake measuring 6.1 in the world’s largest earthquake in over 80 years hit the Caribbean nation of Haiti. The earthquake shook buildings and tore down roads throughout the capital Port-au-Prince and in surrounding areas. As of this writing, the death toll has reached over 200,000 and the number of injured is over 350,000.
The earthquake in Haiti has shattered the country’s infrastructure, leaving only ruins in its wake. The country is in the midst of a cholera outbreak, with reports of the disease spreading quickly in Port-au-Prince. The earthquake has also left many people homeless, and many have begun the long, hard and dangerous journey out of the country.
Earthquake struck Haiti. The earthquake struck the Caribbean region. Some houses were destroyed in Haiti. Due to the earthquake, many of the people in Haiti are homeless. The earthquake also affected other countries in the Caribbean, including the Dominican Republic.
Here’s what you should be aware of:
On Saturday, the Sacred Heart church in Les Cayes. Credit… Associated Press/Delot Jean
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITIAN REPUBLICAN REPUBLICAN REPUBLICAN REPUBL On Saturday morning, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Haiti, a terrible blow to an impoverished Caribbean nation still rebuilding from a devastating but less powerful quake more than 11 years ago.
In at least two cities, heavy devastation, stranded victims, mayhem, and overburdened hospitals have turned life upside down. At least 29 people were murdered, according to the country’s civil protection service, including a prominent local leader who died in a collapsed hotel he owned.
The earthquake could hardly have struck at a worse moment for the 11-million-strong country, which has been mired in political turmoil since President Jovenel Mose was murdered on July 7.
The quake occurred five miles from the hamlet of Petit Trou de Nippes in the western region of the nation, approximately 80 miles west of the capital, Port-au-Prince, according to the US Geological Survey. It had a depth of seven miles and was felt as far as 200 miles away in Jamaica, according to seismologists.
It was a magnitude 7.2 quake, according to the USGS, which may inflict massive damage and was more violent than the 7.0 quake that struck Haiti in 2010.
According to the USGS, at least six aftershocks shook the area, including one with a magnitude of 5.1.
Images and video shared on social media showed fallen buildings and terrified people shouting the names of loved ones in their pajamas. Others were forced to leave the shore when a tsunami warning was issued. And Tropical Storm Grace was on its way to strike Haiti, with experts predicting that it would arrive later Saturday.
Unconfirmed reports of a jail escape from Jacmel, one of the country’s main cities, spread throughout the country’s southern peninsula, causing chaos and uncertainty.
At least two cities, Les Cayes and Jeremie, have reported significant damage. Phone connections were down near Petit Trou de Nippes, the epicenter of the earthquake, and no news came in right after, leaving Haitian authorities fearful.
The two major hospitals in Les Cayes and the main hospital in Jeremie, according to doctors, were overburdened.
“Many homes were destroyed. Many individuals are stuck under the rubble,” Widchell Augustin, 35, of Les Cayes, said. “Under the debris, we can hear people wailing. People are rushing back and forth between the hospital and their homes.”
People were seen out on the street in their pajamas or bath towels, seeking shelter from their violently shaking houses. Entire three-story buildings were razed to the ground; another video showed a group of guys digging through wreckage and attempting to free someone trapped under it.
According to Jude Bonhomme, a local journalist who knew Gabriel Fortuné, a prominent local politician and former mayor of Les Cayes, was among those murdered when the hotel he owned fell after the quake.
Residents in Les Cayes were seen fleeing a wave of saltwater flooding a roadway, fearful of tsunami warnings prompted by the quake. Tsunami warnings had been issued by the United States Tsunami Warning Center for certain coastlines.
The light was blotted out by clouds of dust from the devastation in another footage from Les Cayes. Houses were leveled, with the bricks that previously served as their foundation now lying in a heap on the street.
One person compared it to the devastating earthquake that hit the nation in January 2010.
With a magnitude of 7.0, the earthquake killed about 220,000 people and destroyed most of the city, Port-au-Prince. To make matters worse, 10 months later, Haiti was struck by a cholera outbreak that infected 800,000 people and killed 10,000.
Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc on Haiti’s southern peninsula in 2016, and the country has still not completely recovered five years later. The damage is still evident, with Haiti’s bankrupt government unable to completely rebuild all of the devastated homes, roads, and government facilities.
Rick Gladstone reported from New York, and Maria Abi-Habib from Port-au-Prince.
In 2010, a satellite picture of Haiti’s Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault zone was captured. Credit… NASA
The earthquake that hit Haiti early Saturday morning happened on the same fault system that wreaked havoc on the city, Port-au-Prince, in January 2010. And the last quake very definitely increased the chances of this one happening.
Both quakes occurred on an east-west fault line near the meeting of two tectonic plates, which are huge portions of the Earth’s crust that move slowly in respect to one another. The Caribbean plate and the North American plate move laterally, or side by side, with regard to each other at a pace of approximately a quarter of an inch per year along this fault line, known as the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault zone.
The epicenter of the 2010 earthquake occurred approximately 30 miles west of Port-au-Prince. On Saturday, the quake occurred approximately 50 miles to the west.
Susan E. Hough, a seismologist with the US Geological Survey who examined the 2010 earthquake, said there was no question that it was connected to the one on Saturday.
“It’s well known that you get this domino effect,” she said, referring to how the energy released by one earthquake changes stress patterns down the fault line. “However, we don’t have a crystal ball that can predict which domino will fall next.”
Seismologists have been worried about a section of the fault zone to the east, closer to the location of the 2010 rupture, according to Dr. Hough. She remarked, “Now we’ve seen the section to the west rupture.”
The fault burst both vertically and laterally, she said. According to preliminary assessments, the fault ruptured to the west, directing the majority of the energy away from Port-au-Prince and into the sparsely inhabited area along the Tiburon peninsula. If that’s the case, then the majority of the aftershocks that always follow a big earthquake will very certainly hit the west as well.
“Those are encouraging indications to the degree that anything might be good news for Haiti,” Dr. Hough added.
Saturday’s quake, which had a magnitude of 7.2, produced almost twice as much energy as the one in 2010, which had a magnitude of 7.0. More than 200,000 individuals were murdered in the disaster.
Aside from magnitude, quake damage and fatalities are determined by a variety of variables. The rupture’s depth and position, as well as the time it happened and the quality of the structure, may all have a significant impact. Many of the fatalities and injuries in the 2010 earthquake were attributed to faulty construction, particularly in masonry structures.
The fault zone stretches westward to Jamaica, which is likewise vulnerable to large earthquakes. The fault zone was most likely the cause of four significant earthquakes in the 18th and 19th centuries, including ones that destroyed Port-au-Prince in 1751 and again in 1770, in addition to the 2010 quake.
The danger of another natural catastrophe hovered over Haiti as it recovered from a catastrophic earthquake on Saturday morning. According to the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Grace developed in the eastern Caribbean the same morning and was headed toward Haiti.
The storm was expected to travel close to Haiti on Monday or Tuesday, according to the center, but it was conceivable that it might miss the island just as authorities were ramping up recovery operations.
“According to the current prediction, the storm’s core will pass over Puerto Rico and into the Dominican Republic,” said Robbie Berg, a hurricane expert at the center. “Whether it passes through Haiti or not is still up in the air.”
Mr. Berg said that if Grace reaches Haiti, it would bring strong winds and rain to the northern portion of the nation. He also said that the earthquake may enhance the likelihood of mudslides.
“It may have moved some of the earth and soil, increasing the likelihood of mudslides,” he added.
People on the island should keep an eye on Grace’s progress, according to the center, and tropical storm warnings for Haiti and other neighboring islands “may likely be needed” later Saturday.
On Saturday, the center issued a tropical storm warning for portions of the Dominican Republic, which would “likely be extended westward to encompass Haiti later today and tonight,” according to Dennis Feltgen, a center spokesman.
Mr. Berg said that the storm would not make landfall in Haiti, implying that the storm’s core would not pass over the island.
“Rain is concentrated everywhere around the storm,” he continued, “so the center won’t signify much.”
The US Tsunami Warning Center originally declared a tsunami danger after a strong earthquake struck Haiti early Saturday, warning of waves between three and ten feet high.
After then, the threat was withdrawn.
Residents of Les Cayes were seen in a video circulating on social media fleeing a flooded street, swimming through murky, knee-deep water, although it was unclear what triggered the flooding.
According to the United States Geological Survey, earthquakes of a magnitude of 6.5 to 7.5 do not usually generate fatal tsunamis, although they may induce a minor sea change level near to the epicenter.
An earthquake on Saturday destroyed the Sacred Heart church in Les Cayes. Credit… Associated Press/Delot Jean
What went wrong?
On Saturday morning, a magnitude-7.2 earthquake hit Haiti, larger than the magnitude-7.0 earthquake that ravaged the Caribbean nation in 2010. The quake occurred five miles from the hamlet of Petit Trou de Nippes in the western region of the nation, approximately 80 miles west of the capital, Port-au-Prince, according to the US Geological Survey. It had a depth of seven miles, according to seismologists. It could be felt 200 miles away, in Jamaica.
Because to Saturday’s earthquake, the US Tsunami Warning Center has issued a tsunami warning, stating that “tsunami waves are predicted for certain coastlines.”
What areas of Haiti were hit by the earthquake?
Two cities on Haiti’s southern peninsula, Les Cayes and Jeremie, have reported significant damage, with people trapped beneath debris and buildings collapsing. In Petit Trou de Nippes, the epicenter of the quake, phone lines were down. There was no quick word from that city, leaving Haitian authorities fearful for their safety. The damage and victims have yet to be determined.
What does this imply for the nation as a whole?
This earthquake could not have happened at a worse moment for Haiti, which is still rebuilding from a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that killed over 220,000 people and destroyed most of Port-au-Prince in 2010. The earthquake struck the southern peninsula, which is still rebuilding from Hurricane Matthew, which slammed the nation in 2016.
The 11-million-strong nation is also recuperating from political instability. Since President Jovenel Mose was murdered on July 7, Haiti has been mired in a political crisis, and the administration is ill-equipped to deal with the aftermath.
The earthquake hit Haiti and the surrounding region with a magnitude of 7.0, making this one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded to be recorded. In addition to the estimated 4,000 people killed in the earthquake, countless thousands of people were injured and many are homeless. The death toll could rise in the days ahead as rescue crews struggle to reach remote areas and survivors tend to the wounded and bury the dead.. Read more about haiti earthquake 2021 video and let us know what you think.
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