Mon | Jul 13, 2020

Quake, aftershock have some sleeping outside

Published:Monday | October 8, 2018 | 12:00 AM


Thousands of people along Haiti's north coast dragged mattresses and chairs outside on Monday, fearing aftershocks after a 5.9 earthquake killed at least 12 and injured 188 over the weekend.

Many wondered how they were going to rebuild from Saturday night's quake and a strong 5.2 magnitude aftershock on Sunday that had residents in the coastal city of Port-de-Paix and elsewhere worried about returning to their cracked cinderblock homes for fear that they would collapse.

Among them was Marc-Sena Docteur, a 24-year-old carpenter whose girlfriend died in the earthquake.




"Now I'm left with a nine-month-old baby with no aid at all," he said. "I'm still crying. I don't know what I'm going to do without her."

The walls of the room that the couple had been renting for a year collapsed, and he and the baby have been sleeping outdoors since the quake.

Sunday's aftershock caused panic on streets where emergency teams were providing relief to victims after cinderblock homes and rickety buildings toppled in several cities.

Among the dead was a five-year-old boy crushed by his collapsing house.

Impoverished Haiti, where many live in tenuous circumstances, is vulnerable to earthquakes and hurricanes. A vastly larger magnitude 7.1 quake damaged much of the capital in 2010 and killed an estimated 300,000 people.

Etanvie Dimorne, a 50-year-old mason, said that people have to rebuild stronger given the earthquakes that have hit Haiti. He lost his home in Saturday's quake and is now sleeping under a tarp in someone's yard.

"Last night it rained," he said. "I have to sleep under difficult conditions."