‘The Japanese earthquake of 2011 had a greater impact than the Haiti earthquake in 2010’. To what extent do you agree with this statement?
On January 12, 2010, an 8.0-magnitude earthquake hit Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and the devastation was monumental. Estimates suggest more than 200,000 people died and many more were left homeless. The country was left weakened, and a cholera outbreak killed thousands more in subsequent months. To this day, Haiti is struggling to get back on its feet.
Just over a year later on March 11, 2011, another earthquake struck. This time, it was a 9.0-magnitude earthquake just off the coast of Japan, followed by a gigantic tsunami and nuclear disaster. Some of the effects in Japan were obvious, while others we may not fully understand for decades to come.
With the two major earthquakes so close together, many people are comparing the two disasters. Here is a breakdown of the similarities and differences between the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan.
Japan is one of the richest countries in the world while Haiti is one of the poorest. While this might seem unrelated to the natural disasters, it has everything to do with recovery. Japan has many of the resources and manpower they need to rebuild and continue to thrive. Haiti, on the other hand, was struggling to support its citizens even before the earthquake.
The type of natural disaster was very different. Haiti was hit by an earthquake, while Japan suffered an earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster. Haiti’s earthquake was closer to the surface of the earth (though smaller in magnitude) and followed by a cholera outbreak in coming months. More buildings collapsed as a result of the earthquake in Haiti, whereas most of the physical damage in Japan was due to the ensuing tsunami.
Level of preparation was also diverse. Japan has a history of frequent seismic activity and was more or less structurally prepared for an earthquake. The country has strict construction