Why Haiti? | The Earthquake of 2010 | The Statistics | Haiti’s Troubled Past

On January 12,2010 at 4:53 P.M. a 7.0 magnitude earthquake shook the nation with its epicenter only 10 miles west of Port au Prince, Haiti.

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  Here are a few statistics:

  • 7.0 Magnitude Quake struck near Port au Prince
  • 3.5 million people were affected by the quake
  • 220,000 people estimated to have died
  • 300,000+ people were injured
  • At least 188,383 houses were badly damaged and 105,000 were destroyed by the earthquake (293,383 in total), 1.5m people became homeless
  • After the quake there were 19 million cubic meters of rubble and debris in Port au Prince – enough to fill a line of shipping containers stretching end to end from London to Beirut.
  • 4,000 schools were damaged or destroyed
  • 25% of civil servants in Port au Prince died
  • 60% of Government and administrative buildings, 80% of schools in Port-au-Prince and 60% of schools in the South and West Departments were destroyed or damaged
  • Over 600,000 people left their home area in Port-au-Prince and mostly stayed with host families
  • At its peak, one and a half million people were living in camps including over 100,000 at critical risk from storms and flooding

To date 700 million cubic tons of rubble has been hauled out of the damaged areas. That is enough to fill 7 Superdomes in New Orleans.

There were no building standards and codes before the quake and unfortunately the government’s only official action is to decry the shoddy building. With no real infrastructure to see that building is done correctly coupled with the poverty existing in Haiti, little will prevent buildings from being rebuilt by the same untrained workers as before.


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