Case Study Summary- Verna

I chose to research the 2010 earthquake that happened in Haiti because I experienced it firsthand. I was outside with my friends playing hopscotch. All of a sudden, we felt a strong shaking of the ground. My friends and I were confused as to what was happening so we just froze in place. After the earthquake, my mom and I slept outside for a couple of days. The earthquake did a lot more damage in Port-au-Prince. Right after the earthquake, my mom visited the city. When she came back home, I remembered her being horrified by what she had seen in Port-au-Prince. She saw a lot of deceased people in the street. Moms and children were crying because they had lost a family member or a family member was still in the rubble of their fallen home. Bodies had to be burned because the morgue ran out of space. People were not surprised by the damage the earthquake caused to the capital of the country because many had known that buildings were not built safely. Also, the country did not have any sort of mitigations for any hazards. 

 The magnitude 7.0 earthquake happened on January 12, 2010, it lasted 35-seconds. The Haitian government estimated 316,000 fatalities with approximately 300,000 injured and more than 1 million people lost their homes. Homes, schools, hospitals, businesses, airports, and public service buildings all crumpled down to the mercy of the earthquake. 

Due to a lack of resources, Haiti could not do much after the earthquake, the Dominican Republic and the Dominican Red Cross immediately provided emergency water and medical supplies. They also provided heavy machinery to help with the search and rescue, but most people were left to do search and rescue by hand. Eventually, Governments and non-profit groups came to the country to help. After the earthquake, Some mitigations were also put in place. Seismic instruments were installed across Haiti, and the country has also established a program on seismic activities at its State University. Reconstruction for the 2010 earthquake is still going on today, the country finds it hard to move on from such a tragic day. Ten years later, many people have argued that the country is not any better. The country still has not put in place a warning system for earthquakes, and a national building code is still not available. 



3 thoughts on “Case Study Summary- Verna

  1. I appreciated the inclusion of details of your experience of the earthquake. It is incredibly unfortunate that the devastation that occurred was unsurprising to those who lived there. With the vast amount of damage, it is understandable that reconstruction would take some time. I hope that those buildings are now being built to safer standards. However, I wonder if there are factors that have limited the ability to rebuild, especially considering the significant outpouring of support I remember seeing.

  2. I found the telling of your experience of this event to be all the more eye-opening to me, given that I only remembered hearing about this event (mainly about the damage and humanitarian response) as a kid and in high school and had never heard a first-hand account like this. It is absolutely tragic the amount of damage that this event caused and how many people and families it has affected and continues to affect to this day. I find the lack of mitigations to be very unfortunate and very similar to another natural disaster, namely the Indian Ocean tsunami that caused over 200,000 casualties. Like Haiti, the affected region of India lacked mitigations and detection tools, which in both cases, led to a devastating number of deaths.

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