Haiti and Christchurch Earthquakes- case study and comparison

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Haiti Earthquake

Date: 12/01/2010

Plate Boundary: Caribbean and North American Plate

Magnitude: 7 on Richter scale, 9 (violent) on Mercalli scale

Death toll: 316,000

Causes: The sides of a fault running through Haiti moved past each other in an East-West direction, triggering the energy release.

More details

Occurred 25km approx. WSW from Port-au-Prince at a depth of 13km




·      250,000 residences collapsed or severely damaged

·      30,000 commercial buildings collapsed or severely damaged

·      300,000 injured

·      Vital infrastructure necessary to respond to the quake was damaged; this included all hospitals in the capital (Port-au-Prince), air sea and land transport facilities, and

·      Fibre-optic connectivity disrupted-no public phone system. Haiti’s two largest phone providers, Digicel and Comcel Haiti, were affected

·      Several billion dollars of damage

·      Notable landmark buildings destroyed: National Assembly Building, Port-au-Prince cathedral, and jail

·      HQ of United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) collapsed, killing the mission’s chief, Hedi Annabi







·      The main road linking Port-au-Price with Jacmel was still blocked 10 days after the quake, hampering the delivery of aid to Jacmel

·      The clothing industry, accounting for 2/3 of Haiti’s exports, reported structural damage due to rubbish buildings. Construction standards are low in Haiti, and buildings are often raised wherever they can fit

·      Delivery of aid was hampered because of damage to infrastructure

·      1,000,000 made homeless

·      Hospitals and morgues full so bodies piling up on streets

·      Diseases such as cholera became a serious problem




·      Aid sent from USA, China, Iceland, Qatar, Israel, Korea, just to name a few, as money and as teams of people. Lots of aid pledged at beginning



·      State of the art university built by neighbouring Dominican Republic

·      New hospital with 320 beds


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