Reasons for high death rate in Haiti
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Reasons for high death rate in Haiti

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Year 10 Haiti - High Death Rate - Restless Earth

Year 10 Haiti - High Death Rate - Restless Earth

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Reasons for high death rate in Haiti Reasons for high death rate in Haiti Presentation Transcript

  • Why did so many die in the Haiti Earthquake?
  • Physical
    • High magnitude event (7.0 on Richter scale)
    • Epicentre close to largest city (just 16 kms to S W) which housed almost third of Haiti’s population.
    • Focus was very shallow - only 8 kms below surface. This would lead to greater impact at surface
    • Time - 1653 local time on a Tuesday - people at work or on way home from work, so down-town Port-au-Prince at high risk.
    • Dozens of aftershocks - some as high as 5.9 and 5.5 - which brought down the weakened buildings.
    • 200 years of stored energy (refer theory of strike-fault tectonics)
    • Sitting on a major strike-slip fault (Enriquillo fault)
    • Some unstable ground leading to landslides.
    • Hurricanes (4 in 2008) weakened those buildings not destroyed and led to 800,000 having to live in cheap housing which would be less earthquake resistant.
  • Economic
    • Poverty - 66% earn less than £1 day so many can only live in shoddily built homes.
    • Poorest country in western hemisphere by far so very little to invest in earthquake proof buildings
    • 60% buildings badly built and so far from being earthquake proof.
    • Airport too small to cope with aid and relief from outside agencies which hampered rescue
    • Hurricanes (4 in 2008) weakened those buildings not destroyed and led to 800,000 having to live in cheap housing which would be less earthquake resistant.
    • Blocked roads and phone lines down hampered rescue so leading to more deaths
  • Socio-political
    • Having suffered with disasters previously (flooding 2004, mudslides 2004, 4 hurricanes 2008) perceived they were due for a disaster free time! Therefore ill-prepared.
    • No major earthquake for 200 years and therefore far removed from consciousness and so not prepared.
    • Political instability - corrupt government and little investment in improving buildings and roads.
    • Many decision-makers & aid workers (permanently in Haiti) killed - so chaotic initial response
    • Blocked roads and phone lines down hampered rescue so leading to more deaths
    • Hurricane damage in Genaives led to migration to Port-au-Prince so causing high density living conditions which raised the chance of more deaths.
    • The reasons for the huge number of deaths is very complex and a combination of physical, economic and socio-political factors as shown in the previous slides