Dozens were injured and hundreds were damaged in a magnitude 5.3 earthquake and a series of minor quakes, local officials said.
A magnitude 5.3 earthquake shook southwestern Haiti, killing at least two people, sending panicked people into the streets and forcing authorities to close schools.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the first earthquake on Monday morning was near the town of Les Cay, about 200 km (124 miles) west of the capital Port-au-Prince, followed by earthquakes of magnitude 4.4 and 5.1 .
Two people have been killed, the Associated Press and AFP reported, citing the Haitian Civil Protection Agency.
AFP reported that a man died when a wall collapsed in Anse-a-Weau, a small coastal town 130 kilometers (80 miles) from Port-au-Prince, while a second man died in a landslide at the Fond de Negres, 20 kilometers (12 miles) south.
Remarkable quake, preliminary information: M 5.3 – 3 km SSE from Anse-à-Veau, Haiti https://t.co/kjAIPwmKvA
– USGS Earthquakes (@USGS_Quakes) January 24, 2022
Nearly 200 houses were destroyed and about 600 others were damaged in the Nipes district, according to the local civil protection agency. Rescuers said about 50 people were injured.
Southern Haiti was devastated by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake in August that destroyed tens of thousands of homes and left families sleeping outside in torrential rains.
The Caribbean nation is still recovering from a 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people.
The country is also rocked by a protracted political conflict that escalated when President Yovenel Moiz was assassinated at his home last July.
Since then, armed gangs have consolidated their power on the island, and deadly violence and kidnappings have increased.
On Friday, Canada hosted a virtual meeting for Haiti, which included representatives from 19 countries. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said “immediate action is needed” to address the country’s security situation and promised an additional $ 39 million in aid.
A donors’ conference is also scheduled for February, with the United States and other nations expected to make additional donations.
Meanwhile, Jean-Robert Leger, a resident of the southern peninsula of Pestel, said the impact of Monday’s quake seemed to be minimal.
“There is not that much damage in Pestel,” he told Reuters by telephone. “We see that the houses by the sea, which have already been damaged, have collapsed a little more.”
The children fled the school buildings in Les Cayes and “people were horrified”, although there was no damage, according to one resident.
Silvera Guillaume, director of Haiti’s civil protection agency for the country’s southern region, told the Associated Press that the shaky quakes caused panic. He said schools in the area were closed and children were sent home as a precaution.