Magnitude 7.2 quake rocks Haiti, dozens killed

A major earthquake killed at least 29 people in southwestern Haiti on Saturday, reducing churches, hotels and homes to rubble in the latest tragedy.

The 7.2magnitude quake, which was followed by a series of aftershocks, struck 8 km (5 miles) from the town of Petit Trou de Nippes, about 150 km west of the capital PortauPrince, at a depth of 10 km, the USGS said.

The earthquake which occurred around 8:30 a.m. local time hit farther away from the capital, however. In PortauPrince, it was strongly felt but did not appear to have caused major damage, according to Reuters witnesses.

The nearest big town was Les Cayes, with a population of around 126,000, where many buildings collapsed or suffered major damage, according to authorities, who said they were searching for survivors in the rubble.

"We've counted a total of 29 fatalities to date and an important number of injured," Civil Protection Director Jerry Chandler told a news conference.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry declared a monthlong state of emergency.

The U.S. Tsunami Warning System issued a tsunami warning after the quake, lifting it shortly thereafter.

Source: Saudi Press Agency