Tsunami alert issued as powerful earthquake strikes western Haiti

Magnitude 7.2 earthquake strikes western Haiti and tsunami alert issued, US Geological Survey says.

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake has struck western Haiti, the United States Geological Survey said, prompting a tsunami alert and damaging buildings in the disaster-plagued Caribbean nation.

The epicentre of the quake on Saturday was about 160km (100 miles) by road from central Port-au-Prince, the densely populated capital, at a depth of 10km, the USGS said.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) also reported a quake in the region, saying it was magnitude 7.6.

The US Tsunami Warning System had initially said there was no tsunami warning issued after the quake.

The long shock was felt throughout Haiti and in neighbouring Caribbean countries, and material damage was recorded in the southwestern peninsula of the island.

The country is still recovering from a magnitude 7 earthquake closer to the capital 11 years ago that killed tens if not hundreds of thousands of people and flattened swathes of buildings, leaving many homeless.

Haiti has also been in a state of political turmoil since the assassination of Jovenel Moise in July.

More to follow.