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January 20th, 2010
09:40 AM ET

Strong aftershock rattles Haitians

Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) – A strong aftershock rocked Haiti on Wednesday morning just as much-needed medical aid was set to reach the earthquake-ravaged nation.

The 6.1-magnitude aftershock was about 6.2 miles deep, with an epicenter about 35 miles (60 kilometers) west-southwest of the capital of Port-au-Prince, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

It rattled people struggling to recover from the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake that walloped the impoverished country January 12, killing at least 72,000 people.

Such a strong tremor can pose significant danger in a nation where damaged buildings are teetering precariously. The aftershock was the strongest to hit Haiti since last week's original quake, the USGS said.

The largest aftershock before Wednesday was magnitude 5.9, the agency said.

The 7.0 earthquake was 32 times stronger in terms of magnitude - or energy released - than the 6.1 temblor, said Carrieann Bedwell, a geophysicist with the USGS. That difference is what people feel on the ground, she said.

Patients at a hospital near Haiti's airport in Port-au-Prince immediately started praying as the ground shook like a ship rocking back and forth. They asked for forgiveness and protection, a nurse said.

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Filed under: Haiti
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Rogier

    Please do not spread myth about unrest happening in Haiti!!

    The Haitian people need more doctors and nurses, and ANESTHESIA and other medicines so that surgery can be performed to save lives!!! Not troops with guns and bullets!

    Amy Goodman's reports from Haiti must be seen on Democracy Now: she makes the truth clear about how the US has crippled the country systematically and why it makes it so hard to deal with the earthquake.
    CNN please do not spin this story!

    January 20, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
  2. Hilroy

    If the US had an unfortunate occurrance such as a major earthquake or any major calamity, Haitians would be here to help if they had the means to come and return home.

    Even though they had a very sad and brutal colonial history, they are a still a proud people and do not forget good deeds. They are also forgiving people. It distresses me when this poor country is almost wiped out and some people continue to criticize the assistance they are receiving.

    Regarding God' wrath, look, Haiti is on a fault line along with California and some parts of Canada. Space is at a premium and building regulations are very minimal. Houses are built one on each other and are densely populated. Why would God cause such suffering on such a poor nation?

    To all those in the US who have helped and continue to help, God bless you and yours. For all those who continue to criticize and refuse to help even though they can like some bankers, May God place you in a situation where you will experience the same as Haitians are today.

    January 20, 2010 at 10:48 am |