PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, (AFP) – An earthquake shook parts of western Haiti on Tuesday, killing at least four people and injuring three dozen others, civil protection authorities said.
The magnitude 4.9 quake occurred in the isolated Grand'Anse department nearly 300 kilometres (185 miles) west of Port-au-Prince, at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometres, according to the US Geological Survey.
Three of the dead "are members of the same family and were killed when their house collapsed," Christine Monquele, head of Civil Protection in Grand'Anse, told AFP Tuesday.
At least 36 others were reported injured.
"We're deeply saddened by the loss of life, destruction of property and suffering of the Haitian people caused by the earthquake," Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said in New York.
The quake comes just days after heavy storms battered Haiti -- the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere -- leaving at least 51 people dead and 18 missing, according to a Civil Protection services toll quoted by the United Nations on Tuesday.
"The UN stands ready to work with the Haitian authorities and other partners to help ease the suffering of those in need as it relates to the earthquake and of course, the other natural disaster which is the flooding and landslides we've seen in the past few days," Dujarric said.
He added that the World Food Programme is prepared to distribute some 350,000 meals and other food assistance to those in need.
But ongoing insecurity and damage to roads "are hampering relief efforts," Dujarric said, referring in part to the country's swirling gang violence.
The latest quake struck shortly after 5:00 am (0900 GMT) just off the coast of the southwestern peninsula of the Caribbean nation which is regularly hit by destructive earthquakes.
In 2010 a massive 7.0 quake killed more than 200,000 people in Haiti, turning the capital Port-au-Prince into ruins and making 1.5 million people homeless.
In August 2021 the southwest peninsula was ravaged by an even stronger, 7.2 magnitude quake that killed more than 2,200 people and destroyed 130,000 homes.