Major earthquake hits Haiti, causing widespread damage and deaths

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      A major earthquake that struck Haiti today has resulted in extensive damage and hundreds of deaths in the Caribbean nation.

      It struck at 8:29 a.m. Port-au-Prince time (5:29 a.m. Vancouver time).

      The U.S. Geological Survey measured it as a 7.2-magnitude quake, at a depth of 10 kilometres (six miles).

      The epicentre was positioned 14 kilometres (eight miles) southeast of Petit Trou de Nippes; 37 kilometres (23 miles) northeast of Les Cayes; and 65 kilometres (40 miles) west of Tigwav. 

      It was followed by numerous other quakes from about 4.0- to 5.8-magnitude for a several hours afterward.

      Several news reports have stated that the seismic activity has caused at least 300 deaths being initially reported, in addition to hundreds of injuries and missing people, and numerous structures—including homes, churches, and hotels—being either damaged or destroyed.

      In addition, the quake was reported felt in Cuba and Jamaica.

      A 7.0-magnitude quake that devastated Haiti in 2010 killed 250,000 people and displaced over one million people.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.