Rescue operations underway in Haiti following earthquake

At least 11 people were killed, and several others injured after an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 rocked northwest Haiti on Saturday night, officials have confirmed.

The Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC) said that the quake was felt across several parts of the   country and that it created panic in several cities.

Most deaths in Port-de-Paix

The DPC said that most of the deaths occurred in Port-de-Paix , north west of Port Au Prince.

It said at least 135 people have been injured and taken to hospitals. “Many houses are destroyed or damaged,” it said.

The DPC said that rescue teams are working across the country especially in the north west where two slight aftershocks have been felt since.

Moise urges calm

“I urge the population to keep calm, following the passage of the earthquake whose epicenter is located in the northwest coast,” President Jovenel Moïse posted on Twitter. ‘The (disaster) risk management system and the regional branches of the Civil Protection are on standby to assist the inhabitants of the affected areas,” he added.

In 2010, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 killed an estimated 160,000 people and left more than a million others homeless in the French-speaking country.

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Guyana marks anniversary of Cuban airline disaster

Guyana marked the 42nd anniversary of the Cubana airline disaster pledging to continue the fight against terrorism.

“Guyana has paid a heavy price in the loss of lives for dictating policies and goals. We felt that way because 10 years after being freed from the shackles of three centuries of colonial bondage we felt that our own independence was under attack.

“The Cubana bombing brought us shared grief, it also strengthened our resolve not to severe our close bonds with our Cuban brothers and sisters. We must always remember them so as not to surrender to bullyism over sovereignty and unimpeded access to our national resources,” Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo said at the wreath laying ceremony to commemorate the event.

Tragedy on October 6, 1976

On October 6, 1976, a Cuban DC 8 passenger aircraft, flight number CU-455, left Guyana for Trinidad, then on to Seawell International Airport in Barbados. From Barbados, the plane was scheduled to fly to Jamaica and then to its final destination in Havana, Cuba.

Bomb exploded

However, minutes after the plane took-off from Barbados, a bomb located in the aircraft’s rear lavatories exploded.

All 73 passengers and crew on board perished. Among them were 57 Cubans, five Koreans and 11 Guyanese of whom six were students going to Cuba to study medicine and engineering. Among the Cubans who died were all 24 members of the 1975 Cuban national fencing team.

Venezuelan suspects

Media reports in 1976 identified Venezuelan nationals, Hernán Ricardo Lozano and Freddy Lugo, as having joined the flight in Trinidad and Tobago, but disembarked in Barbados after setting the bombs on the plane.

At the time, they were working for Luis Posada Carriles. They were subsequently sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, while Carriles was held for eight years while awaiting a final sentence but eventually fled. He subsequently entered the U.S. where he was held on charges of entering the country illegally and was released on April 19, 2007.

Condemnation for the use of terror

Nagamootoo said that Georgetown would always condemn the use of terror to settle differences or controversies, adding that Guyana will forever remember the shock and horror of that day.

He said Guyana will also continue to collectively share the grief and loss of those killed and that this vicious act of terrorism was a studied policy that punished small states, including Guyana, for pursuing an independent path of development.

 

Cuban ambassador Narciso Renaldo Amador Socorro echoed similar sentiments, and reaffirmed Havana’s rejection of all terrorist acts, methods and practices in all forms and manifestations.

He said October 6 has been adopted as the Day of Victims of State Terrorism, in perpetual remembrance to the more that 3,000 Cubans who lost their lives as a result of terrorist attack.

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