Strong earthquake hits Haiti

January 13th, 2010 - 6:44 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Jan 13 (DPA) A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7 on the Richter scale struck Tuesday in the Caribbean nation of Haiti, the US Geological Survey in Washington said.
A tsunami watch was issued for an area including Haiti, Cuba, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.

The quake struck at 2153 GMT, some 15 km southwest of capital Port-au-Prince at a depth of 10 km.

Two aftershocks of magnitude 5.9 and 5.5 on the Richter scale followed within the hour.

Frank Williams, an aide worker with World Vision, told CNN that buildings were damaged across the capital of Port-au-Prince and walls had collapsed into the streets blocking traffic.

With a population of nine million, Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and has been marred by political turmoil for decades. The UN extended its 7,000-member mission in the impoverished country late last year.

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