Haiti Earthquake MEDC CASE STUDY
Background · Haiti is a small island located in the Caribbean, South East of the USA and the East of Cuba. · Its capital city is Port-au-Prince · 72% of the population live on less than $2 dollars per day. · Only 40% of the population has access to clean water. · 40% of the population lives in slum housing.
Causes · The Earth quake was caused by the North American Plate sliding past the Caribbean Plate at the conservative plate margin. · Both plate move in the same direction, but one moves faster than the other. · The pressure that was built up because of the friction between the 2 plates was eventually released causing a magnitude 7 earthquake on the Richter Scale with an epicentre 16 miles west of Port-au-Prince and a shallow focus of 5 miles. · The earthquake struck at 16:53 local time on Tuesday 12th January 2010.
Primary Effects · 3 million people were affected by the earthquake. 316,000 people were killed and 1 million people were made homeless. · 250,000 homes and 30,000 other buildings were either destroyed or badly damaged. This included the President’s Palace and 60% of government buildings · Over 50 hospitals and 1,30 schools were badly damaged · Transport and communication links wee also badly destroyed.
Secondary Effects · 1 in 5 people lost their jobs as so many buildings were destroyed. Haiti’s largest industry, clothing, was one of the worst affected. · The large number of deaths meant that hospitals and morgues became full and bodies then had to be piled up on the streets. · The large number of bodies meant that diseases, especially choler, became a serious problem. · People were squashed into shanty towns or onto the streets because their homes had been destroyed leading to poor sanitation and health, and looting became a real problem.
Short Term Responses · $100 million in aid was given by the USA and $330 million by the European Union · 810,000 people were placed in aid camps · 115,00 tents and 1,000,000+ tarpaulin shelters provided · Healthcare supplies were provided to limit disease · 4.3 million people were provided with food following the earthquake · The Dominican Republic provided emergency water and medical supplies as well as heavy machinery to help with search and rescue underneath the rubble. However most people were left to dig through the rubble by hand · Emergency rescue teams arrived from a number of countries to help · Medical teams arrived to help treat the injured – temporary field hospitals were set up by the Red Cross.
Long Term Responses · After one year, there were still 1,300 camps · Support for people who lost their jobs, about 70% of the population, was set up through cash/food for work projects. · Schools were rebuilt · Money was pledged to help rebuild however progress has been very slow