The 2010 Haiti Earthquake

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The 2010 Haiti Earthquake The 2010 Haiti earthquake was the worst earthquake to hit the island in 200 years. This earthquake occurred on Tuesday 12th January, 2010 at approximately 4:53 p.m. (local time). The quake occurred in the vicinity of the northern boundary where the Caribbean plate shifts eastward in relation to the North American plate. Haiti sits on the fault line in the earth’s crust called the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault. On January 12th,2010 at approximately 4:53 p.m., the Caribbean plate shifted against the North American plate causing a massive tremor of 7.0 Mw . The duration of the earthquake was 30-40 seconds. The epicentre was near the town of Léogâne, approximately 25 kilometres of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. Its coordinates are 18.457o N, 72.533oW. The earthquake was felt in surrounding regions including Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, The Bahamas and the borderingDominican Republic. After the earthquake, many aftershocks measuring 4.5 or greater were recorded. The earthquake had an intensity of IX on the Mercalli scale. An estimated three million people were affected by the earthquake; 316 000 people died, 300 000 injured and 1 000 000 people were made homeless. The infrastructure was badly damaged with 90% of the buildings damaged. (Self-made houses constructed from anything that was available were not built to withstand such earthquakes). The capital was like a sea of rubble. A fishing town was hit by a localized tsunami shortly after the earthquake. Haiti in 2012 Half a million Haitians are still homeless and are living under tarps and tents. Most Haitians do not have running water, toilet facilities or access to a doctor. More than 70% of the working force is unemployed. Haiti faces challenges- political disputes, chaotic housing projects, conflict over land and registry. But there have been advances.

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