A deadly earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.9 struck southern Haiti early on Tuesday, as the Caribbean nation was reeling from devastating flooding at the weekend that killed more than 40 people.
At least four people were killed and 36 others injured, authorities said on Tuesday.
The earthquake struck before dawn near the southwestern coastal city of Jeremie at a depth of six miles (10 kilometres), according to the United States Geological Survey.
Two homes collapsed in the earthquake, and a key route that connects Jeremie and Les Cayes was blocked, according to Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency.
Three of the dead were from the same family and were found under a collapsed house where rescuers were searching for more people, Frankel Maginaire of Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency in Jeremie told the AP.
He said that several children were hospitalised with injuries.
People gathered around one home that collapsed as they tried to search for survivors in the rubble. They carried out at least one victim wrapped in a sheet.
Claude Prepetit, a geologist and engineer with Haiti’s Bureau of Mines and Energy, told Radio Caraibes that smaller earthquakes that occurred earlier this year in southern Haiti led to the bigger one that struck on Tuesday.
The earthquake struck almost two years after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck southern Haiti and killed more than 2,200 people, with Les Cayes sustaining the most damage. Some people who lost their homes last August are still living in camps.
In 2010, a magnitude 7 earthquake near the densely populated capital, Port-au-Prince, killed at least 200,000 people and caused widespread devastation to buildings.
Tuesday’s earthquake comes as Haiti struggles to recover from heavy floods over the weekend that killed at least 42 people, injured 140 and flooded nearly 31,600 homes. Prime Minister Ariel Henry has requested international assistance.
“Disasters keep hitting Haiti, left and right,” said Didinu Tamakloe, Haiti director for Project Hope, a US aid organisation.
“People have not had sufficient time to recover from previous disasters, only to be hit by flash floods, an earthquake and landslides in a matter of days.”