7.0 magnitude earthquake hits off the coast of Haiti, death toll up to 724

International News

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Haiti on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Haiti’s civil protection agency, who said the death toll was originally at least 29 people, has now seen the country’s number soar to 724, according to its civil defense director.

The epicenter of the quake was 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) 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 neighbor went in and told them to get out. We ran to the street,” Verneus said.

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