At least 11 people have been confirmed dead in Haiti following a magnitude-5.9 earthquake that gave “rise to panic in several towns,” officials and reports say.
Police told Reuters that seven were killed and more than 100 were injured in Port-de-Paix, a northern coastal city near the epicenter of the earthquake on Saturday, and that four were left dead in and around Gros-Morne.
“The shock was felt across all departments of the country, giving rise to panic in several towns,” Haiti’s civil protection agency said in a statement.
The agency also said the earthquake left homes destroyed or damaged and that it was followed by “two minor aftershocks.”
In Gros-Morne, one person was killed when an auditorium collapsed, Reuters reported, citing a local newspaper. It added that detainees have been released from a police holding cell that suffered damage from the earthquake. Among the other structures damaged was the Saint-Michel church in Plaisance.
Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise took to Twitter Saturday and asked “to mobilize all the resources of the Republic to help” the citizens affected by the temblor.
The quake hit around 8:11 p.m. and was centered 12 miles northwest of Port-de-Paix, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and struck about 7.3 miles below the surface.
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.