The death toll from a 5.9 earthquake that hit Haiti over the weekend rose to at least 15 people with 333 injured, according to updated figures released Monday by authorities.
Haiti’s civil protection agency said in a statement that it will soon deploy 70 soldiers to the Nord-Ouest and Artibonite provinces that were hardest hit, noting it already sent 14 soldiers along with nurses and doctors to the area over the weekend.
The number of damaged or destroyed homes is still being assessed. The government said at least 168 houses were destroyed and 2,280 were damaged in the northern region, which has a population of about 3.2 million and some of Haiti’s poorest communities. More than 7,700 families are in urgent need of assistance.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake hit at 8:11 p.m. Saturday night and was centered 12 miles northwest of Port-de-Paix, which is about 136 miles from the capital of Port-au-Prince.
The quake was 7.3 miles below the surface.
Port-de-Paix, Gros-Morne, the town of Chansolme and the northern island of Tortuga were among the areas worst hit, Haiti's civil protection agency said in a statement.
"The shock was felt across all departments of the country, giving rise to panic in several towns," the agency said.
Some houses in the worst-affected areas were destroyed by the earthquake, the agency said.
Reports on social Media Saturday's quake was felt in Port-au-Prince but had not caused major damage
President Jovenel Moise urged people to remain calm, and said on Twitter he had ordered "all of the republic's resources" to be directed towards assisting recovery efforts.