Haiti Earthquake Case Study

Case study information I conjured up. 

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Haiti Earthquake Causes

  • Haiti is the poorest country on the Western Hemisphere (LEDC)
  • Haiti was hit on 12th January 2010 at 4.53pm, South West of Port-Au-Prince 
  • Located on the edge of 2 tectonic plates (Caribbean plate and North American plate) - caused by conservative plate boundary 
  • 7.0 Magnitude on the Richter Scale
  • Country was already suffering from 2008 hurricanes that caused $1 billion damage
  • The country was not able to protect themselves from the earthquake 
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Haiti Earthquake Consequences - Primary Effects


  • 230,000 people died 
  • Over 300,000 injured (300,572) 
  • 2.3 million homeless 
  • A man (Evan Monsignac) was trapped for 27 days under rubble 
  • One year on people still living in camps
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Haiti Earthquake Consequences - Primary Effects


  • $7.8 billion damage
  • 80% already below poverty line
  • Poverty levels were so high before, basic support offered more to people living in camps than before 
  • Did not have the infrastructure (e.g. roads) to manage rescue operation
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Haiti Earthquake Consequences - Primary Effects


  • 60% Government buildings damaged 
  • 80% school in Port-Au-Prince damaged
  • Transport & Communication links badly damaged
  • Rainy season approaching
  • Hospitals also destroyed
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Haiti Earthquake Consequences - Secondary Effects

  • Hospitals couldn't cope with the large number of injuries and deaths - resulting to more people dying for treatable injuries/diseases
  • Lack of space to place dead bodies - leading to spreading of disease
  • A year later, people were still living in camps so cholera spread
  • Poor transport links meant that people weren't rescued quick enough (e.g. man stuck for 27 days) increased number of deaths
  • Prison destroyed so inmates escaped leading to looting and crime

There are probably more however these are just some 

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Haiti Earthquake Management & Response

Short Term Response: 

  • First Rescue and search teams arrived 22 hours after earthquake
  • First Red cross teams arrived 36 hours after earthquake
  • Stockpiles quickly distributed
  • Latrines installed 
  • Aid was unevenly distributed
  • Limited health supplies 
  • Lack of immediate aid through poor planning, management and access meant that people had to try and rescue each other
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Haiti Earthquake Management & Response

Long Term Response:

  • $9.5 billion pledged but $5.9 disbursed
  • Donor didn't trust government due to previous corruption
  • Government owned 50% of land but only 2 pieces made available within first 2 months
  • One year on people still live in camps
  • Support for people without jobs - for 70% of the population 
  • Temporary schools created and new teacher trainees
  • Water and sanitation eventually supplied for 1.7 million people
  • 98% of rubble still hadn't been cleared 
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