Survivors sifting through the rubble of their earthquake-toppled cinderblock homes in Haiti were rattled by a magnitude 5.2 aftershock that caused panic and threatened to raise the death toll even further from 12.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter of the aftershock on Sunday was located 9.8 miles (15.8 kilometers) north-northwest of Port-de-Paix, the city hard hit by Saturday night's 5.9 magnitude earthquake. Sunday's aftershock had a depth of 10 kilometers.
"It was an aftershock. It was at the same location," said Paul Caruso, a geophysicist with the USGS. "This is the first significant aftershock."
The tremors caused panic on streets where emergency teams were providing relief to victims of Saturday's quake, which toppled cinderblock homes and rickety buildings in several cities.
Among the dead from Saturday night's quake were a 5-year-old boy crushed by his collapsing house and a man killed in a falling auditorium.
She said that about 500 students would not be able to return to school on Monday.
The prison and police station in Port-de-Paix were damaged, leading some inmates to try to escape. Police were using tear gas to contain prisoners inside the lockup. There was no word if any inmates had escaped.
The USGS said Saturday's quake was centered 12 miles (19 kilometers) northwest of Port-de-Paix, which is about 136 miles (219 kilometers) from the capital of Port-au-Prince.
It was felt lightly in the capital, as well as in the neighboring Dominican Republic and in eastern Cuba, where no damage was reported.
In Haiti, officials have struggled to shore up buildings despite the two major fault lines along Hispaniola, which is the island shared with the Dominican Republic.
Deep poverty and government instability have also rendered weaker homes and structures particularly vulnerable in earthquakes. Rescue workers in Haiti said they were not looking for any more victims.
In the town of Gros-Morne, one bed was covered in rubble, while the exterior walls of some homes were visibly cracked. Others tilted at precarious angles.
"The house can fall at any time," he said. Meanwhile, dozens of people could be seen sifting through debris before hauling away rebar to recycle and sell.
The civil protection agency issued a statement saying that houses were destroyed in Port-de-Paix, Gros-Morne, Chansolme and Turtle Island. Damage was also reported at the Saint-Michel church in Plaisance and the police station in Port-de-Paix.
It was not clear if there was an event in the auditorium at the time. Haiti President Jovenel Moise said on his Twitter account Sunday that civil protection brigades were working to clear debris. He also said the government had sent water and food.
In 2010, a larger magnitude 7.1 quake damaged much of the capital and killed an estimated 300,000 people.
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