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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 October 2018

Haiti earthquake death toll rises to 15 while hundreds injured

Homes left cracked as people slept on the streets

The death toll from a 5.9 earthquake that hit Haiti over the weekend rose to 15 people with 333 injured, authorities said on Monday, as thousands of people slept outdoors fearing aftershocks would topple their cracked homes.

Haiti's civil protection agency will send 70 soldiers to the Nord-Ouest and Artibonite provinces that were hardest hit, saying it has already sent 14 soldiers, along with nurses and doctors, to the area.

Thousands of people along Haiti's north coast dragged mattresses and chairs outside after a strong 5.2 magnitude aftershock on Sunday rattled cinderblock homes already cracked by Saturday's earthquake.

Among them was Marc-Sena Docteur, a 24-year-old carpenter whose girlfriend died in the earthquake.

"Now I'm left with a 9-month-old baby with no aid at all," he said. "I'm still crying. I don't know what I'm going to do without her."

The walls of the room that the couple had been renting for a year collapsed, and he and the baby have been sleeping outdoors since the quake.

On Monday, Haiti's Ministry of Communication released figures stating that at least 15 people had died, nine in Port-de-Paix, one in Saint-Louis du Nord and five in Gros Morne. Among the dead were a 5-year-old boy crushed by his collapsing house.

Impoverished Haiti is vulnerable to earthquakes and hurricanes. A vastly larger magnitude 7.1 quake damaged much of the capital in 2010 and killed an estimated 300,000 people.

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