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5.9 magnitude earthquake shakes Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — A magnitude 5.9 earthquake shook northwestern Haiti late Saturday, damaging homes, a church and at least one hospital. Government spokesman Eddy Jackson Alexis told AFP that 11 people had been reported dead so far. 

The U.S. Geologic Survey said the quake hit at 8:11 p.m. and was centered 12 miles northwest of Port-de-Paix on Haiti's north coast. It was 7.3 miles below the surface.

The country's civil protection agency issued a statement saying several people were injured and some houses destroyed in Port-de-Paix, Gros Morne, Chansolme and Turtle Island. Among the structures damaged was the Saint-Michel church in Plaisance.

Other rescue workers reported the collapse of part of a hospital and an auditorium as the quake hit on a rainy evening.

The quake was felt lightly in the capital, Port-au-Prince, as well as in the neighboring Dominican Republic.

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