End Times News Update
Sign: Earthquake
Scripture: Matthew 24:7
News Source: My Way News
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Major quake hits Haiti; many casualties expected

Jan 12, 6:29 PM (ET)
By JONATHAN M. KATZ

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) – The largest earthquake ever recorded in
the area shook Haiti on Tuesday, collapsing a hospital where people
screamed for help. Other buildings also were damaged and scientists
said they expected “substantial damage and casualties.”

With communications disrupted there were no reports of deaths or
injuries soon after the quake, as powerful aftershocks shook the
country.

The earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 and was centered
about 10 miles (15 kilometers) west of the capital of Port-au-Prince,
the U.S. Geological Survey said. It had a depth of 5 miles (8
kilometers). It was the largest quake recorded in the area, said USGS
analyst Dale Grant, and the last major one since a magnitude-6.7
temblor in 1984.

An Associated Press videographer saw the wrecked hospital in
Petionville, a hillside Port-au-Prince district that is home to many
diplomats and wealthy Haitians. Elsewhere, a U.S. government official
reported seeing houses that had tumbled into a ravine.

Haiti’s ambassador to the U.S., Raymond Joseph, said from his
Washington office that he spoke to President Rene Preval’s chief of
staff, Fritz Longchamp, just after the quake hit. He said Longchamp
told him that “buildings were crumbling right and left” near the
national palace. He said he has not gotten through by phone to Haiti
since.

Don Blakeman, an analyst at the USGS in Golden, Colorado, said such a
strong quake carried the potential for widespread damage.

“I think we are going to see substantial damage and casualties,” he said.

The quake was felt in the Dominican Republic, which shares a border
with Haiti on the island of Hispaniola. Some panicked residents in the
capital of Santo Domingo fled from their shaking homes.

In eastern Cuba, houses shook but no major damage was immediately reported.

“We felt it very strongly and I would say for a long time. We had time
to evacuate,” said Monsignor Dionisio Garcia, archbishop of Santiago.

In Haiti, the extent of the damage was unclear.

“Everybody is just totally, totally freaked out and shaken,” said
Henry Bahn, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official visiting Haiti.
“The sky is just gray with dust.”

Bahn said he was walking to his hotel room when the ground began to shake.

“I just held on and bounced across the wall,” he said. “I just hear a
tremendous amount of noise and shouting and screaming in the
distance.”

Bahn said there were rocks strewn about and he saw a ravine where
several homes had stood: “It’s just full of collapsed walls and rubble
and barbed wire.”

The U.S. National Weather Service issued a tsunami watch for Haiti,
the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas, but said historically the
region has seen few destructive tsunamis.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid said U.S.
officials were holding emergency meetings.

“We need to gather what information we can quickly. We will of course
assist in any way we can,” he said.

Felix Augustin, Haiti’s consul general in New York, said he was
concerned about everyone in Haiti, including his relatives.

“Communication is absolutely impossible,” he said. “I’ve been trying
to call my ministry and I cannot get through. … It’s mind-boggling.”


Associated Press writers David Koop in Mexico City, Matthew Lee in
Washington and Andrea Rodriguez in Havana contributed to this report.

Source: My Way News / AP
URL:
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100112/D9D6GBPO0.html

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