Magnitude 7.2 earthquake hits Haiti; no tsunami warning issued for US

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A magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit Haiti early Saturday morning, consistent with the U.S. Geological Survey. The earthquake’s epicenter struck 7.5 miles from Saint-Louis du Sud, a little coastal town in western Haiti that’s about 100 miles from Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital. “High casualties are probable and therefore the disaster is probably going widespread,” consistent with USGS. “Past events with this alert level have required a national or international level response.” No tsunami warning for the U.S. Atlantic or Gulf coasts was issued after the quake, consistent with the U.S. Tsunami Warning System. Waves up to about 10 feet were predicted for a few coastlines in Haiti.

People in Port-au-Prince rushed into the streets in fear after feeling the quake, consistent with the Associated Press. The country remains recovering from a devastating magnitude 7 earthquake in 2010 that killed an estimated 300,000 people and left more homeless. More recently, a magnitude 5.9 earthquake in 2018 left quite a dozen people dead. Naomi Verneus, a 34-year-old Port-au-Prince resident, said she was jolted awake when her bed started shaking. “I awakened and didn’t have time to place my shoes on,” she said. “We lived the 2010 earthquake and everyone I could do was run.”

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