Haiti’s earthquake 2010


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A very detailed PowerPoint on the 2010 disaster: Haiti Earthquake. The PPT includes:

The background info of the quake
Maps showing the location of Haiti and the epicentre
The reason why the earthquake occurred
The immediate damage
The aftermath
Foreign aid info (including an ITN news video of a UK firefighter rescue)
Continuing problems
Long term recovery
Pictures of the devastation/rescue efforts

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Haiti’s earthquake 2010

  1. 1. Chris Cartwright A2 Geography Student
  2. 2. <ul><li>The devastating earthquake of January 2010 provides an up-to-date case study illustrating how susceptible low-income countries are to natural hazards </li></ul><ul><li>It is relevant to all GCSE courses and may also be relevant to AS/A2 level courses (e.g. Edexcel Unit 1 – Global Challenges) </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>On 12 th January 2010 a huge earthquake, registering a magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter Scale, struck the Caribbean island nation of Haiti </li></ul><ul><li>Haiti has a history of destructive earthquakes but this was the worst in 200 years </li></ul><ul><li>The Epicentre was near Leogane, 25km West of Haiti’s capital, Port-Au-Prince </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>By 24 th January at least 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 + on the Richter Scale had been recorded </li></ul><ul><li>The US Geological Survey estimates that 3.5 million people lived in the area where ‘moderate to heavy’ damage occurred </li></ul><ul><li>The Haitian government estimates that 230,000 people died, about 300,000 people were injured and 1 million were made homeless out of a population of 10 million </li></ul><ul><li>Some 250,000 dwellings were destroyed or badly damaged </li></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>For any country this would have been a major disaster </li></ul><ul><li>However, as a very poor nation Haiti was particularly badly placed to cope with such an event </li></ul><ul><li>According to the World Bank (2008), Haiti’s GDP per person is only US$660 </li></ul><ul><li>This makes Haiti the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere </li></ul><ul><li>It is ranked 149 th out of 182 countries on the HDI ( Human Development Index ) </li></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>Haiti lies close to the boundary of two tectonic plates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Caribbean plate is shifting by about 20mm a year relative to the North American plate </li></ul></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>The focus of the January Earthquake was about 13km below the Earth’s surface on the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault </li></ul><ul><li>This fault had been ‘locked’ for 250 years, gathering stress, so that when this earthquake happened, the rupture in the fault was 65km long, with a slippage of 1.8 metres </li></ul><ul><li>Seismologists had already warned that major seismic activity in the area was likely and the 2010 earthquake could be the beginning of a sequence of earthquakes </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>The primary hazard of the earthquake, the shaking ground, caused secondary hazards such as collapsing buildings, and food and water shortages due to the damage and disruption </li></ul><ul><li>Vital infrastructure needed for a response to the disaster was destroyed </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>Electricity supplies were disrupted </li></ul><ul><li>Roads were blocked (the main road between Port-au-Prince and Jacmel was still blocked 10 days after the earthquake) </li></ul><ul><li>The international airport was unusable due to control-tower damage, as was Port-au-Prince harbour </li></ul><ul><li>The public telephone system was knocked out, with no signal for mobile phones and no internet </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>Medical facilities were badly affected, with some hospitals destroyed </li></ul><ul><li>Key buildings were flattened, including the National Assembly, Supreme Court, City Hall, main cathedral, universities, schools and the World Bank offices </li></ul><ul><li>The main prison was wrecked and 4000 inmates escaped </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>People took sleeping to the streets, on pavements or in cars because their homes had been flattened, or they feared remaining buildings would collapse due to aftershocks </li></ul><ul><li>Because of the lack of building regulations buildings are put up wherever they will fit in, without proper foundations </li></ul><ul><li>About 2 million Haitians live as squatters on land they do not own </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>Even before the earthquake Haiti suffered from shortages of fuel and drinking water </li></ul><ul><li>After the quake there was major confusion, even though President Rene Preval and his ministers met with UN planners every day </li></ul><ul><li>A few days after the earthquake the government handed control of the airport to US authorities to try to speed up aid effort, but some aircraft with potentially life-saving supplies still had to be turned away. </li></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>As organisation improved, landings at the airport rose from 35 to 100 a day. </li></ul><ul><li>By 16 th January, US helicopters were beginning to distribute aid to hard-to-reach places </li></ul><ul><li>Delays in aid distribution led to looting and occasional violence </li></ul><ul><li>British search and rescue teams were the first to reach Leogane, on 17 th January, but this was already 5 days after the earthquake </li></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>In the heat and humidity, decomposing corpses in the rubble began to smell </li></ul><ul><li>One rescue worker said: ‘The situation is true madness. There are more and more bodies, in numbers that cannot be grasped’ </li></ul><ul><li>The morgue in Port-au-Prince was overwhelmed – mass graves were dug north of the capital and tens of thousands of bodies were brought there by dumper trucks </li></ul>
  15. 17. <ul><li>On 22 nd January the UN said the emergency phase of the relief operation was over </li></ul><ul><li>Next day the Haitian government called off the search for survivors </li></ul><ul><li>Nevertheless, the last survivor, 28 year old Evan Muncie, was found in the rubble of a shop almost a month after the quake, on 8 th February </li></ul>
  16. 18. <ul><li>Survivors crammed into make shift camps like this one, which faced further threats such as disease outbreaks </li></ul>
  17. 19. <ul><li>Much of the early rescue work was done by Haitians and by teams from the Dominican Republic, the first country to respond </li></ul><ul><li>Within 24 hours a medical team from Iceland had landed </li></ul><ul><li>A 50 strong Chinese team followed </li></ul><ul><li>Qatar and Israel sent teams to set up field hospitals </li></ul>
  18. 20. <ul><li>The American Red Cross let people donate via text message and set a record by raising US$7m in 24 hours </li></ul><ul><li>Many countries, including the UK, offered financial aid </li></ul>
  19. 22. <ul><li>Two months after the quake, in March, the rainy season began </li></ul><ul><li>At this point, 500,000 survivors were sleeping rough and 500,000 more were crowded into make-shift camps </li></ul><ul><li>It was feared the rain would turn the camps into quagmires and trigger further secondary hazards such as mudslides and disease outbreaks </li></ul>
  20. 23. <ul><li>Aid agencies warned that if shelter and sanitation arrangements were not made quickly, a further humanitarian disaster would occur </li></ul><ul><li>The UN increased its relief appeal to US$1.44bn </li></ul>
  21. 24. <ul><li>The UN’s top official in Haiti, Edmond Mulet, explained: ‘We need toilets, field tents, and plastic sheets so that people can cover themselves. I don’t think we are going to be able to shelter all these people in time’ </li></ul><ul><li>The UN aimed to distribute durable plastic tarpaulins to 1,500 families a day, with the hope that by early May each family would have two tarpaulins </li></ul>
  22. 25. <ul><li>The impacts on Haiti’s economy is massive </li></ul><ul><li>Even before the disaster Port-au-Prince could not sustain its population, partly because so many people had moved there from the countryside to find work </li></ul><ul><li>As in most LEDCs, rural-urban migration has been significant in recent years </li></ul>
  23. 26. <ul><li>Now, 1 job in 5 has been lost due to the earthquake, and many people have been returning to the small rural settlements they came from </li></ul><ul><li>US Vice-President Joe Biden said: ‘We do not view this as a humanitarian mission with a life-cycle of a month. This is going to be a long slog’ </li></ul>