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Magnitude 5.9 quake strikes northern Haiti, causing injuries

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Magnitude 5.9 quake strikes northern Haiti, causing injuries

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(Reuters) - A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck near the northernmost tip of Haiti late on Saturday, injuring a number of people and causing some damage to buildings including an auditorium that collapsed, authorities and media reported.

The quake struck about 12.3 miles (20 kms), west-northwest of the port of Port-de-Paix, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said. Local media reported at least one death.

The quake was one of the strongest to hit Haiti since a 7.0 magnitude quake struck near the capital Port-au-Prince in 2010, killing thousands of people in the impoverished Caribbean country.

In a post on Twitter, Haiti's President Jovenel Moise urged people to remain calm after the civil protection agency said the quake caused injuries and panic in northern towns.

Le Nouvelliste newspaper said one person died when an auditorium collapsed in the town of Gros Morne, and that detainees were released from a police holding cell that was damaged. Reuters could not immediately confirm the report.

The tremor damaged the facade of a church in the town of Plaisance and a house next door collapsed, Frantz Duval, a journalist with Le Nouvelliste, said on Twitter.

Initial reports on social media said Saturday's quake was felt in Port-au-Prince but had not caused major damage there.

(Writing by Dave Graham; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Stephen Coates)

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