An enormous 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the island of Haiti on Saturday morning triggering tsunami warnings and fears of mass casualties across the impoverished nation.
Footage of the immediate aftermath was posted to Twitter by Insider Paper. Collapsed buildings lined the rubble-littered the streets that were choked with dusty air.
JUST IN 🚨 Video shows massive damages after strong earthquake in Haiti — people feared dead pic.twitter.com/ALOJZl8OZH
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) August 14, 2021
Seawater was also recorded surging through the streets and inundating coastal communities as panicked residents fled for their lives.
— Mundo en Conflicto 🌎 (@MundoEConflicto) August 14, 2021
“The preliminary USGS PAGER report shows RED for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses – indicating high casualties are probable and significant damage is likely. Given the likely impact of this event, a significant international response seems likely,” the United States Geological Survey wrote on its website.
The tremor’s epicenter was located roughly 78 miles east of Haiti’s capital city, Port au Prince, and was centered only 60 miles from the nexus of the devastating 7.0-magnitude quake that left 200,000 people dead in 2010.
“Like the 2010 event, the faulting mechanism for this earthquake indicates oblique thrust faulting along the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault zone, the major fault structure and microplate boundary in the region,” USGS said.
The agency also pointed out that Haitian infrastructure is ill-equipped to handle large seismic events.
“Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though resistant structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are mud wall and informal (metal, timber, GI etc.) construction,” it explained, adding that “recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.”
This is a developing story.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.