The Haitian Earthquake

Major Conflict

The Environment's Impact on People

On January 12th, 2010, at 4:53 pm the initial stages of this devastating natural disaster's main point of impact struck within Haiti's capital of Port au Prince. Yet the true epicenter was bear a town known as Leogane. The ensuing results were unforeseen by the population of Hispaniola, and eventually, the world.

This Haitian earthquake had a magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter scale, with the death toll scaling to about 220,000 people, yet over 3,000,000 individuals were displaced from their homes due to the damage caused. This destruction of many regions in Haiti left millions, tragically, with out a home, and totaled up to be about 7 billion to 14 billion dollars in overall damages. The 2010 earthquake had been the worst one to occur in the last 200 years since its happened.

Even with the initial quake occurring on January 12th, for about twelve days there after did at least 52 aftershocks (measuring about 4.5 and up on the Richter scale) take place. The U.S. Geological Survey hypothesized that about 3.5 million of the people in Haiti live in areas in which 'moderate to heavy' damage may have occurred.

The main hazard of the shaking ground falls hand in hand with the hazards that also come along, being destruction of buildings, difficulties having access to drinking water and food, or disaster response needed in times of peril. These underlying issues only made matters worse for those residing in Haiti. The overall results of the earthquake was crumbling; whether it be the population, infrastructure, health care, government, the economy, etc.

Deeper Impacts

An earthquake of this magnitude anywhere would be seen as a major disaster, yet since Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere (has an overall GDP of $660), increasing the power of the earthquake, since lack of funds made possibility of medical care, housing, and other necessities harder to obtain. The damage was so bad in fact, a prison was wrecked and a total of four thousand inmates had escaped.

The effects of the earthquake resonated visibly within the aftermath of whose lives were in the aftermath. After the event of 2 million Haitians were left to live as squatters in their cars or on the streets since most homes had been flattened, and makeshift houses were common since building regulations of any sort were seldom enforced.

Due to Haiti's economic position before the war, shortages in fuel and drinking water, therefore resulting in the control of the airport to United States authorities. This saved many lives since the U.S. was able to increase the speed of life support, and important supplies.

Issues arose continuously, such as the prominence of corpses on the street, the cholera outbreak, foreign aid disputes, and climate induced problems, such a rain that could set the overall progress back with restoring Haiti. The UN eventually helped with the effort by distributing temporary homes and other necessities.

In the end, long term recovery from this event had shown an economic improvement, yet Haiti still remains to be a work in progress.

Kristine Brown