Haiti struck by M 5.9 quake; at least 11 dead

A woman stretches out her arms in prayer as balances a stone on her head as a form of penance during a Good Friday ritual in Ganthier Haiti

A 5.9-magnitude quake struck off the northwest coast of Haiti late Saturday, killing at least 12 people, injuring more than 130 others and damaging homes in the poverty-stricken Caribbean nation, authorities said.

President Jovenel Moïse urged the people to remain calm noting that "risk management system and the regional civil Protection directorates" have been activated to help the affected area.

Saturday's quake, centred 19 kilometres northwest of Port-de-Paix, injured more than 188 people, damaging or leveling several homes and public buildings.

The quake struck about 12.3 miles (20 kms), west-northwest of the port of Port-de-Paix, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

Emergency teams worked to provide relief in Haiti on Sunday after a magnitude 5.9 quake killed 11 people and left 135 injured.

The tremors from the quake, which struck at 8.10pm local time (1am GMT), could be felt, across the country, as well as in the neighboring Dominican Republic.

In Gros-Morne, some people walked along the street while looking up at the cracked exterior walls of homes.

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Some houses in the worst-affected areas were destroyed by the quake, the agency said.

Meanwhile, dozens of people could be seen sifting through debris before hauling away rebar to recycle and sell.

Le Nouvelliste newspaper said one person was killed when an auditorium collapsed in Gros-Morne.

It's reported that seven people died in the coastal city of Port-de-Paix and three people died in the community of Gros-Morne in the province of Artibonite.

Moise tweeted pictures from Port-de-Paix, where he was briefed at the region's emergency response center, met victims, viewed damage to the police headquarters and offered thanks to local officers.

The Nord-Ouest department is the poorest part of impoverished Haiti, with many areas isolated due to the dire state of the roads.

A 7.0 quake in January 2010, with an epicenter just west of Port-au-Prince, killed over 220,000 people and left some 300,000 injured.

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