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Haiti Earthquake Of 2010 Was The “Perfect Disaster”. To What Extent Is This Statement True?

1469 words - 6 pages

Haiti earthquake of 2010 was the “perfect disaster”. To what extent is this statement true?

Haiti, one of the anomalies in the Northern Hemisphere, being that it is amongst the world’s poorest countries. Having 32% of its GDP relying on remittances is just an indicator of the dire situation Haiti has struggled to deal with. On a scale on 1 to 10, when 10 is the perfect disaster the 2010 earthquake in Haiti would easily rate 9.9. Its dire economic situation along with decades of government mismanagement and its precarious geographic location all adds to Haiti being a perfect disaster. A perfect disaster criterion is that the preconditions of the country were dismal including an unstable ...view middle of the document...

From these preconditions it is clear to see that Haiti’s earthquake in 2010 created the perfect disaster to the full extent of which it can achieve.

At 4:55pm on the 12th of January, an earthquake, which measured a 7 on the Richter scale, hit Haiti 25 kilometers South West of its capital, Port-au-Prince. As a result of the strength of the earthquake and its distressing economic situation, 70% of the all the buildings collapsed mainly because of the poorly made structures. The final death toll was 230,000 with 96 of UN personnel killed, trained workers and a staggering quarter of civil service workers included in the death toll. These facts meet a criteria of a perfect disaster by showing that there was a large ratio of human life that was taken, which enables us to see that the earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010 was the perfect disaster.

Because of a quarter of Haiti’s civil service workers were killed, the aftermath of the earthquake was extremely disorganized which created disastrous delays. When help was finally asked for, planes were not able to deliver aid because they could not land in the demolished airport, so there were airplanes queuing in the sky above Port-au-Prince. Aid ships were turned away because the docks were dilapidated, which led to mass confusion and ineffective corporation. When Aid finally got to Haiti, there was little to no communication between the NGOs so even though more than 100 NGOs turned up there was no emergency plan to follow so they all did their own thing instead of cohesively working as one large group. As a result of the disorganization, some areas were checked two or three times whereas other areas of Port-au-Prince were completely neglected. Aid workers used the top down approach that suggested that the aid workers only had the short-term goals in mind so they didn’t think about how they can help Haiti in a sustainable manner. An example of this is, when all the rubble from the buildings were on the street aid workers, without thinking about other options, started to burn the rubble causing a disastrous amount of pollution which not only affected Port-au-Prince but the surrounding agriculture land which ruined what was left of the remaining crops. This meets the criteria of inadequate aid, which supports the argument that the earthquake in Haiti was the perfect disaster. Another problem with the aid workers was that there was a language barrier, as most aid workers could not speak French, aid workers did not know if they were actually helping or not as they couldn’t understand what the Haitians were trying to say to them. After all the costs were calculated some NGOs admitted that it actually cost more in expenses for the NGOs to get their than the quality of aid they provided. So even though aid was given to Haiti, it helped so little that there was no reduction of the chaos, leading to why the earthquake in Haiti, to the full extent, was a perfect disaster.

There were many short-term effects,...

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