Small earthquakes felt in Haiti’s northwest and southwest regions over the last two days have caused the deaths of at least two people, officials said.
Schools in different cities like Cap-Haitien canceled classes after two quakes on Jan. 24. Some schools had already started classes when the earthquakes struck and students ran out of their classrooms, residents said.
“It’s negatively impacting me that they canceled school,” said Jennifka Deshommes, a student at Public University of the North in Cap-Haitien. “But I agree with them, it can happen anytime so they had to let the students go.”
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recorded a magnitude-5.3 earthquake on Jan. 24 that struck Anse-a-Veau, in the Nippes Department, at 8:16 a.m. Less than one hour later, a 5.1-magnitude quake was felt in the same area, in the town of Petite-Riviere-de-Nippes, according to USGS data.
Haitian authorities reported at least two deaths in the Nippes department as a result of the tremors. Two men, whose names were not released, were killed by the collapse of a wall and a landslide, respectively, Le Nouvelliste reported.
The tremors also caused widespread panic among scared residents, according to local radio.
A separate 4.3-magnitude earthquake struck on Jan. 23, in the northwestern corner of the Artibonite Department, near the town of Anse Rouge. No casualties have been reported, and residents throughout northwestern Haiti have said they felt the light vibration.
The southwestern region where the deaths occurred is where a 7.2-magnitude earthquake on Aug. 14, 2021 claimed more than 2,200 lives. Tremors have been felt regularly since, leaving many residents on edge, The Haitian Times reported in December.
Seismologists have said such tremors are likely to occur in the area because several earthquake fault lines run through that part of the country.