By JOSE P. MONEGRO, Associated Press Writer
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – A light earthquake struck a flood-ravaged region along the Dominican-Haitian border on Saturday, but no damage or injuries were immediately reported.
The quake was not felt around the Dominican border town of Jimani. “If there was one, I don’t know about it,” said Lt. Matthieu Mollard, who was commanding French troops setting up tents for homeless flood survivors.
No immediate news was available from the Haitian side of the border, where the quake was centered, according to the Dominican Seismology Institute. Mountains up to 600 feet soar on the Haitian side just miles from Jimani.
The institute recorded a quake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.4 that lasted for four seconds on Saturday morning, according to Jose Luis German of the Dominican National Emergency Commission.
He said the epicenter was 20 miles underground and that most people probably did not feel it because it was deep and did not last long.
Such a quake can cause moderate damage in normal circumstances. But the area, in the south-central corner of Hispaniola island that is shared by Dominican Republic and Haiti, suffered torrential floods and mudslides this week that killed at least 1,100 people, according to conservative government tolls that account only for bodies recovered.
Troops from the U.S.-led multinational force in Haiti on Saturday were trying to recover bodies on both sides of the border.
People on the Haitian side could not be reached as submerged villages are cut off from the world except by helicopter, which the U.S. military has been using to ferry emergency aid to thousands of homeless and hungry survivors.
Landline and cellular telephones do not work in the area. The report from Jimani came from an Associated Press reporter using a satellite telephone.