At least 300 killed as 7.2-magnitude earthquake hits Haiti

The epicentre of the quake was about 78 miles west of the capital of Port-au-Prince.
Haiti Earthquake
Haiti Earthquake

At least 300 people were killed and hundreds were injured and missing after a powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on Saturday.

Haiti PM Ariel Henry said he was sending aid to areas where towns were destroyed and hospitals overwhelmed with incoming patients.

The epicentre of the earthquake was about 78 miles west of the capital of Port-au-Prince, the US Geological Survey said, and widespread damage was reported.

Haiti’s civil protection agency said that the death toll stood at 304 and that search teams would be sent to the area.

Rescue workers and bystanders were able to pull many people to safety from the rubble, the agency said Saturday on Twitter. It said injured people were still being taken to hospitals.

PM Ariel Henry declared a one-month state of emergency for the whole country and said he would not ask for international help until the extent of the damages was known.

Henry said some towns were almost completely razed and the government had people in the coastal town of Les Cayes to help plan and co-ordinate the response.

“The most important thing is to recover as many survivors as possible under the rubble,” said PM Henry.

“We have learned that the local hospitals, in particular that of Les Cayes, are overwhelmed with wounded, fractured people.”

Henry said the International Red Cross and hospitals in unaffected areas were helping to care for the injured, and appealed to Haitians for unity.

“The needs are enormous. We must take care of the injured and fractured, but also provide food, aid, temporary shelter and psychological support,” PM said.

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