Case study: Haiti 2010 - low income country (LIC)

Causes

On 12 January 2010 a 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti in the Caribbean. The earthquake occurred on a convergent plate boundary between the Caribbean and North American plates. The focus was only 12.87 km deep and the epicentre was just 25.75 km from the capital Port-au-Prince.

The earthquake's epicentre was at Port-au-Prince in Haiti. The earthquake hit on 12 anuary 2010 and measured magnitude 7.

Effects

Primary

Destruction after the earthquake at Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Destruction after the earthquake at Port-au-Prince, Haiti

  • 220,000 people were killed.
  • 300,000 people were injured.
  • The main port was badly damaged.
  • 8 hospitals collapsed.
  • 100,000 houses were destroyed and 200,000 were damaged.
  • 1.3 million people became homeless.

Secondary

  • 2 million people were left without food and water.
  • Frequent power cuts occurred.
  • Crime increased - looting became a problem and sexual violence escalated.
  • People moved into temporary shelters.
  • By November 2010 there were outbreaks of cholera.

Responses

Short-term

  • Crucial aid was slow to arrive due to the damaged port.
  • USA sent rescue teams and 10,000 troops.
  • Bottled water and purification tablets were provided.
  • 235,000 people were moved to less-damaged cities away from Port-au-Prince.
  • The UK government donated £20 million.

Long-term

  • Haiti was dependent on overseas aid.
  • New homes were built to a higher standard although the response was slow. One year after the earthquake over 1 million people were still living in temporary shelters.
  • The port needed rebuilding which required a large amount of investment.