About 304 people have dead and over 1,800 others injured following a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck western Haiti causing damages to roads and houses in the disaster-plagued Caribbean nation on Saturday, August 14.

Haiti’s director of civil protection, Jerry Chandler said deaths have been confirmed.

Chandler Hadded that the country’s emergency operations centre had been activated and Prime Minister Ariel Henry was headed there.

Other reports indicated that two hotels were among the buildings destroyed in the town of Les Cayes and the local hospital was overwhelmed.

The epicentre of the earthquake was about 12km (7.5 miles) from the town of Saint-Louis du Sud and reports revealed that the tremor was felt in the densely-populated capital of Port-au-Prince, some 125km away, and in neighbouring countries, Reuters reported.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) also reported a quake in the region, saying it was magnitude 7.6, while Cuba’s seismological centre said it registered a magnitude of 7.4.

Haiti is still recovering from a deadly tremor of about 7.0 magnitude that occured in January 2010 leaving more than 200,000 dead and injuring some 300,000 others.

More than a million and a half Haitians were made homeless following the quake that destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes, as well as administrative buildings and schools and 60 percent of Haiti’s health-care system.

The latest quake comes just over a month after President Jovenel Moise was assassinated in his home by a team of gunmen, shaking a country already battling poverty, spiraling gang violence and Covid-19.

Meanwhile, the USGS has issued a tsunami warning, saying waves of up to three metres (nearly 10 feet) were possible along the coastline of Haiti, but it soon lifted the warning.

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