7.0-magnitude earthquake hits Haiti, killing dozens

At least 29 dead in Haiti

UPDATE: 12:35 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is "standing ready" to provide assistance after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti today.

Officials in the Caribbean nation say at least 29 people were killed as search and rescue teams were being deployed amid reports of widespread damage.

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry said he wouldn't ask for international aid until the extent of the damage was known.

He declared a one-month state of emergency affecting the whole country.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau says Canada was saddened by the news of the quake.

Garneau says the country is ready to provide consular assistance to Canadians in Haiti.

UPDATE: 9 a.m.

The earthquake that hit Haiti Saturday has caused widespread destruction, and dozens of buildings in the small Caribbean country have collapsed as a result.

The U.S. Geological Survey says "high casualties and extensive damage are probable and the disaster is likely widespread."

Laura Allen, originally from Kaslo, runs Shelters International Disaster Response, and she is currently on the ground in Haiti.

"Aux Cayes is flattened and we don’t have casualties counts as yet," Allen tells Castanet. Aux Cayes (or Les Cayes) is located on the south shore of Haiti, near where the earthquake hit.

Videos and photos from the country show a number of buildings toppled.

Haiti was hit hard by a 7.0- magnitude earthquake in 2010 that caused more than 200,000 fatalities.

ORIGINAL: 7:15 a.m.

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Haiti on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter of the quake was 12 kilometres northeast of Saint-Louis du Sud, according to the survey.

People in the capital of Port-au-Prince felt the tremor and many rushed into the streets in fear.

Naomi Verneus, a 34-year-old resident of Port-au-Prince, said she was jolted awake by the earthquake and that her bed was shaking.

“I woke up and didn’t have time to put my shoes on. We lived the 2010 earthquake and all I could do was run. I later remembered my two kids and my mother were still inside. My neighbour went in and told them to get out. We ran to the street,” Verneus said.

- The Canadian Press

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