Haiti Quake of 2010
On January 12th, 2010, Tuesday afternoon, a fierce earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti causing a crowded hospital to collapse, leveled countless dwellings, and brought even more suffering to a nation that was already the poorest and most disaster-prone in its hemisphere.
Haiti has also gone through multiple previous natural disasters. When Haiti was a French colony, French historian recorded many earthquakes. In Port-au-Prince in the year 1757, one earthquake was so big that only one stonework building hadn’t collapsed. In 1770, the whole city of Port-au-Prince collapsed due to an earthquake according to Moreau de Saint-Mery. North of Haiti, Dominican ...view middle of the document...
According to the United States Geological Survey, there were eight aftershocks in the first two hours after the major earthquake. They had magnitudes between 4.3 and 5.9. Inside the first nine hours there were 32 aftershocks with magnitudes of 4.2 or more recorded, 12 which measured 5.0 or more and on the 24th January. US General Survey reported that there were 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 or more since the earthquake on the 12th January. The strongest aftershock from the main earthquake had a magnitude of 5.9 that hit Haiti. Reported a UN representative, the aftershock destroyed seven buildings in its town. The International Committee of the Red Cross staff, who quickly reached Petit-Goave for the first time a day right before the aftershock, said the town of Petit-Goave was estimated to have lost less than 20 percent of its buildings, and was suffered the same limited supplies and medical care as the capital. After the earthquake was over, the beach of Petit Paradise was struck by a local tsunami wave that was caused by an underwater slide. There were at least three victims swept out to sea by the powerful tsunami and were sadly found dead.
The Haiti earthquake caused one of Petionvilles hospitals, located in a rich suburb of Port-au-Prince, to fall and so did the St. Michael District Hospital, located in the Southern town of Jaomel. This hospital was the largest referral in southeast Haiti. The earthquake significantly damaged the control tower at the Toussaint L’Ouverture International Airport. Because of the destruction to the Port-au-Prince seaport, the harbor couldn’t be used for immediate rescue operations, but Gonaives seaport located in northern Haiti did work.
In Leogane, the mayor reported 90 percent of its town’s buildings had been shattered. The prison in Port-au-Prince was also shattered which allowed about 4,000 inmates to escape. Minister of Education Joel Jean-Pierce affirmed that the education system had completely fallen. Almost half of the nation’s schools along with the three main universities located in Port-au-Prince were hit. Over 1,300 schools and 50 health care facilities were shattered. The Haitian art world also suffered many great losses; such as destroyed artworks, museums and art galleries. Following with them, Port-au-Prince’s main art museum.
More than 200,000 people were killed by the quake and another 1.5 million were left homeless, with 8 to 14 billion dollars in damage. Among the nights after the earthquake, a lot of people in Haiti had to sleep in the streets, on the pavements, in their own cars, or in crude shanty towns because they were terrified that what was left of their homes would not survive the aftershocks. This was because structures on the land were mainly built where they can fit; some of the buildings had to be built on slopes lacking foundations or steel works. The country was also short of fuel and portable water. This was even before the disaster occurred.