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M5.9 quake shakes northern Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — A magnitude 5.9 earthquake shook northwestern Haiti late Saturday and there were early reports of damage and injuries, though the extent was not clear.

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 said on its Twitter account that there were reports of damage and injuries, but gave no immediate details.

It 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.