Aftershock hits Haiti Wednesday morning; Hamper rescue efforts - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Aftershock hits Haiti Wednesday morning; Hamper rescue efforts

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti-- A powerful aftershock hit Haiti early Wednesday morning, shaking buildings and sending people running into the streets.

The 6.1 magnitude quake hit at 3:03 a.m. PST, about 35 miles northwest of the capital of Port-au-Prince, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

It doesn't appear to have caused major new damage in the capital, but it has hampered rescue efforts there.

Haiti's prime minister says the government is sending teams to check on the area near the epicenter, which is about 35 miles west-southwest of Port-au-Prince. He says, "We know they are going to need some help."

One doctor digging for survivors in Port-au-Prince, meanwhile, says the new shaking and yesterday's light rain have made the debris more compact.

Scientists say Haiti can expect more aftershocks in coming weeks. They should become weaker and less frequent, although another one as strong as today's magnitude 6.1 is possible. It was the largest of 49 aftershocks that have followed last week's massive earthquake.