Haiti Earthquake

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 1207
  • Published : May 3, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
The January 12, 2010 Haiti Earthquake caused an enormous destruction in the Caribbean nation. Hospitals and government buildings collapsed along with an unbelievable amount of homes. Tens of thousands of people were killed, and many more were wounded. The disaster added more misery to people already struggling to get by with everyday life. Haiti is one of the poorest nations in the world. The January 12 quake demolished almost every major building in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. About 5,000 schools in the city were destroyed or damaged. Throughout Haiti, more than 220,000 people were killed, and more than 1 million were left homeless. A few days after the quake, the number of survivors stood at 121 as hopes of finding more became unrealistic.The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, with an epicentre near the town of Léogâne, approximately 25 km (16 miles) west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. The earthquake occurred at 16:53 local time (21:53 UTC) on Tuesday, 12 January 2010.[6][7]

By 24 January, at least 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 or greater had been recorded.[8] An estimated three million people were affected by the quake;[9] the Haitian government reported that an estimated 316,000 people had died, 300,000 had been injured and 1,000,000 made homeless.[10][11] The death toll has also been suggested to be much lower at somewhere between 92,000[4] and 220,000, with around 1.5 million[12] to 1.8 million homeless.[13] The government of Haiti also estimated that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings had collapsed or were severely damaged.[14]

The earthquake caused major damage in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel and other settlements in the region. Many notable landmark buildings were significantly damaged or destroyed, including the Presidential Palace, the National Assembly building, the Port-au-Prince Cathedral, and the main jail. Among those killed were Archbishop of Port-au-Prince Joseph Serge Miot,[15] and opposition leader Micha Gaillard.[16][17] The headquarters of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), located in the capital, collapsed, killing many, including the Mission's Chief, Hédi Annabi.[18][19]

Many countries responded to appeals for humanitarian aid, pledging funds and dispatching rescue and medical teams, engineers and support personnel. Communication systems, air, land, and sea transport facilities, hospitals, and electrical networks had been damaged by the earthquake, which hampered rescue and aid efforts; confusion over who was in charge, air traffic congestion, and problems with prioritisation of flights further complicated early relief work. Port-au-Prince's morgues were quickly overwhelmed with many tens of thousands of bodies having to be buried in mass graves.[20] As rescues tailed off, supplies, medical care and sanitation became priorities. Delays in aid distribution led to angry appeals from aid workers and survivors, and looting and sporadic violence were observed. On 22 January the United Nations noted that the emergency phase of the relief operation was drawing to a close, and on the following day the Haitian government officially called off the search for survivors.

Contents [hide]
1 Background
2 Geology
2.1 Aftershocks
2.2 Tsunami
3 Damage to infrastructure
3.1 Essential services
3.2 General infrastructure
4 Conditions in the aftermath
5 Casualties
6 Early response
7 Rescue and relief efforts
8 Recovery
8.1 Status of the recovery
9 See also
10 References
11 Further reading
12 External links

BackgroundThe island of Hispaniola, shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic, is seismically active and has a history of destructive earthquakes. During Haiti's time as a French colony, earthquakes were recorded by French historian Moreau de Saint-Méry (1750–1819). He described damage done by an earthquake in 1751, writing that "only one masonry building had not collapsed" in Port-au-Prince; he also...
tracking img