Earthquake Case Studies- Haiti, China and Japan

Earthquake Case Studies

Haiti

Haiti is a developing country located between the Caribbean and North American plate. On 12th January 2010 a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the island near the capital Port au Prince. The earthquake killed 222,576 people and injured 300,000. It also made 1.2 million people homeless.

Physical Factors affecting the Earthquake

1.       The earthquake had a shallow focus of 13km increasing the amount of shaking

2.       Liquefaction occurred on looser soil causing building foundations to sink and fail

3.       The epicentre was 24km from Port au Prince the capital and home to 2 million people. The most densely populated area in Haiti

Human Factors affecting the Earthquake

1.       Haiti is a developing country, so it is very poor and its limited resources were being spent on more immediate matters for example disease rather than preparations

2.       There is a high level of corruption at a national and local government level. This led to a lack of resources to improve standards of living.

3.       There was a lack of building control and regulations meaning that many buildings in Port au Prince were poorly built slum housing which could not withstand the earthquake and were destroyed

4.       Lack of disaster prevention meant that government officials and emergency services didn’t know what to do

5.       Many Haitians were and still are living in poverty and so didn’t have the resources to cope with the effects

Impacts on Haiti

1.       Haiti only had one airport, several ports and a few main roads which were damaged or destroyed. This prevented aid supplies from arriving or being distributed properly. This lead to more deaths

2.       Over a quarter of government officials were killed and government buildings were destroyed meaning the government couldn’t organise properly after to maintain order

3.       In October 2010 there was an outbreak of cholera which was still ongoing by 2016. Over 9,000 people had died due to this

Recovery

By 2015, Haiti was still recovering from the earthquake. $13 billion of aid had been donated with the majority staying in the hands of international organisations due to corruption in the government. By 2015,

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