Magnitude 5.9 quake shakes northern Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — A magnitude 5.9 earthquake shook northwestern Haiti late Saturday, damaging homes, a church and at least one hospital. Officials reported that people had been injured, but had not confirmed local media reports of deaths.The U.S. Geologic Survey said the quake hit at 8:11 p.m. (0011 GMT) and was centered 12 miles (19 kilometers) northwest of Port-de-Paix on Haiti’s north coast. It was 7.3 miles (11.7 kilometers) below the surface.

The country’s civil protection agency issued a statement saying several people were injured and some houses destroyed in Port-de-Paix, Gros Morne, Chansolme and Turtle Island. Among the structures damaged was the Saint-Michel church in Plaisance.

Other rescue workers reported the collapse of part of a hospital and an auditorium as the quake hit on a rainy evening.

The quake was felt lightly in the capital, Port-au-Prince, as well as in the neighboring Dominican Republic.

Impoverished Haiti, where many live in tenuous circumstances, is especially vulnerable to earthquakes. A vastly larger magnitude 7.1 quake damaged much of the capital in 2010 and killed an estimated 300,000 people.

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