Haiti: Earthquake of Power – Red Alert!


Terrible memories of the 2010 earthquake are awakened.

Saint-Louis-du-Sud – A severe earthquake shook the south of the Caribbean state of Haiti on Saturday morning (local time). The US Agency for Development Cooperation (USAID) considers a high number of victims to be possible. She called red alert on Saturday with a view to possible deaths.

In the evening, the civil defense issued a first interim balance with 227 deaths. However, a significant increase in the number of victims can still be expected. Hundreds of other people are still missing or injured.



Les Cayes: people are looking for survivors in the rubblePhoto: EPA


Many houses were destroyed.  The US agency USGS assumes a high number of victims

Many houses were destroyed. The US agency USGS assumes a high number of victimsPhoto: Twitter / InfosFrancaises

► The portal “Gazette Haiti” reported on Saturday afternoon of at least five deaths in the city of Aquin, including two children between the ages of seven and nine. There are also many injured there.

► An eyewitness from Les Cayes in the southwest, one of the largest cities in the country, told the Haiti Press Network of collapsed houses and hotels and that people were buried under the rubble.

► According to the “Gazette”, residents of the Nippes department, in which the epicenter of the quake was located, sent an SOS call to the authorities because the hospitals were overloaded.


An injured woman on a stretcher in Les Cayes

An injured woman on a stretcher in Les CayesPhoto: EPA


Injured people are being pulled from the rubble of collapsed buildings

Injured people are being pulled from the rubble of collapsed buildingsPhoto: Twitter / CarlosEsDelAlbo

7.2 magnitude earthquakes and aftershocks

According to official information, the earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 occurred on the southern Tiburon peninsula around 12 kilometers from the municipality of Saint-Louis-du-Sud at a depth of around ten kilometers. After the earthquake, the Caribbean state of Haiti was shaken by several aftershocks with magnitudes of up to 5.2.


The Sacred Heart Church in Les Cayes was badly damaged

The Sacred Heart Church in Les Cayes was badly damagedPhoto: Delot Jean / dpa

The Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry has declared a state of emergency for a month. Numerous houses are reported to have been destroyed. The exact extent of the damage is still unclear. A crisis team has been activated.

The USA has promised the Caribbean state quick aid. The US agency USAID wrote on Twitter that disaster experts were on site to assess the damage.


A broken down corrugated iron roof in Les Cayes in southwest Haiti

A broken down corrugated iron roof in Les Cayes in southwest HaitiPhoto: Twitter / Frantzduval

The authorities issued a tsunami warning that has since been lifted. The US National Weather Service (NOAA) advised people to remain cautious. In the coastal areas near the earthquake, there could still be minor fluctuations in sea level of up to 30 centimeters, it said.


This building was destroyed by the quake

This building was also destroyed by the quakePhoto: Twitter / Awaremap


There is rubble all over the street

There is rubble all over the streetPhoto: Twitter / JCOMHaiti


A local resident shared this photo on Twitter.  The extent of the damage caused by the earthquake is still unclear

A local resident shared this photo on Twitter. The extent of the damage caused by the earthquake is still unclearPhoto: Twitter / TanbouV

“It took about 17 seconds”

BILD spoke to Alinx Jean-Baptiste, former office manager of Kindernothilfe in Haiti, on the phone: “I witnessed the earthquake in Port-au-Prince. It took about 17 seconds. It wasn’t as strong as in 2010. The people reacted in an exemplary manner and took to the streets immediately. There was no major damage in the capital. “


A street vendor in Port-au-Prince.  The earthquake did not cause any major damage in the capital

A street vendor in Port-au-Prince. The earthquake did not cause any major damage in the capital Photo: Joseph Odelyn / AP

The epicenter is about 125 kilometers from the capital. Jean-Baptiste: “It must have been much worse in the south. Houses collapsed there and a church was destroyed. In contrast, the effects in the capital are no comparison. “


The epicenter is southeast of the capital Port-au-Prince

The epicenter is southeast of the capital Port-au-PrincePhoto: EPA

Finding out more about the situation in the affected area is difficult. Jean-Baptiste: “After the President’s assassination last month, we hardly have any electricity. It is therefore difficult to reach others on cell phones. You always have to make sure that it is charged. “


The epicenter is southeast of the capital Port-au-Prince.  Some houses collapsed there

This building was completely destroyed. It is unclear whether there were people in it at the time of the earthquakePhoto: Twitter / Frantzduval

Tropical storm moves towards Haiti

Haiti may face another challenge: Tropical storm “Grace” could hit the region early next week, according to the US National Hurricane Center.

Heavy rains and winds could make things worse in the earthquake-hit area. Damaged houses could finally collapse. In addition, such weather conditions would massively hinder the rescue measures.

The January 2010 earthquake

Haiti was almost completely devastated by a severe earthquake in 2010. At the center of the earthquake, which had a magnitude of 7.3, was Haiti’s densely populated capital, Port-au-Prince. Around 222,000 people died and more than 300,000 were injured as a result of the quake. Over a million people lost their homes. The damage from the quake was estimated at eight billion US dollars (6.2 billion euros). Reconstruction got off to a slow start, also due to the political instability.


The 2010 earthquake left many people in Haiti homeless

The 2010 earthquake left many people in Haiti homeless (Archive photo)Photo: Jorge Silva / REUTERS

In July 2021, Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse was ambushed and shot dead by a heavily armed commando at his residence.

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