PORT-AU-PRINCE, Jan 24 (Reuters) – Haiti was struck by a 5.3 magnitude earthquake and a series of smaller tremors on Monday that killed one person and led panicked residents of the Caribbean nation’s southern peninsula to flood into the streets.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the first quake hit an area near the city of Les Cayes and was followed by tremors of 4.4 and 5.1 in the same area, just six months after a major tremor in the same region killed more than 2,000 people.
One person was dead and numerous people were wounded in Fond des Nègres in the Department of Nippes, according to a civil protection report forwarded to Reuters that was later confirmed by civil protection chief Jerry Chandler. Numerous houses have been damaged, the report said.
Chandler had previously said that no major damage had been reported.
Jean Robert Léger, a resident of the town of Pestel on the southern peninsula, said the impact appeared to be minimal.
“In Pestel, there is not so much damage,” he said by phone. “We see that the houses next to the sea that were already damaged have collapsed some more.”
Children ran out of school buildings in Les Cayes and “people were terrified,” even though there was no damage, according to one resident.
In August, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake destroyed tens of thousands of homes, left families sleeping outside in torrential rainsand forced Prime Minister Ariel Henry to suspend elections that had been scheduled for November.
Haiti is still recovering from a 2010 quake that killed more than 200,000 people.