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Frightened Haitians jolted from sleep by powerful aftershock

January 20, 2010|From Times Staff Writers

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — A powerful aftershock early today sent an already unnerved population rushing into Haiti's streets in panic.

The U.S. Geological Survey website said the earthquake had a magnitude of 6.1 and was centered 36 miles west-southwest of Port-au-Prince, the capital. The original quake on Jan. 12 was magnitude 7.

Haitian radio reported that a number of already damaged buildings collapsed in Wednesday's aftershock. It urged residents of the traumatized city to leave for the provinces. There were no immediate reports of additional injuries.

Reporters on the scene said people who were sleeping indoors bolted from their beds and fled into the streets without stopping to get properly dressed.

Large numbers of people have been sleeping outdoors since last week's quake, too afraid to sleep inside amid so many collapsed structures.

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