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Haiti Earthquake 2010

Updated on September 21, 2016

LEDC Earthquake

This is a Geography case study for LEDC Earthquakes.

This will be an easy to learn GCSE level case study for Geography. I'll include other resources to assist you in improving your knowledge and grades.

Bold Text = Important

Bold and Underlined Text = Super Important

The Basics

Where: Epicentre was 25 km E of the capital, Port-au-prince, Haiti, in Léogâne

Time: 4:53 pm, 12th January 2010

Scale: 7.0 Richter Scale

Death toll: 230,000

Why?

Haiti is on the island directly above the 'n' in the label 'Caribbean (CA)'.

Haiti and the Dominican Republic, both on the same island, lie on a plate boundary: the Caribbean Plate and the North American Plate. As the plates were moving past each other, they got stuck due to friction, causing a build up of energy. When the energy build up has overcome the friction, the plate jolts, causing an earthquake.

It's useful to be able to give a rough sketch of the epicentre and plate margins if you are going to use this case study for the exam!

Preparation

Preparation is the plans local and national governments make in case of a natural disaster:

No local plans for earthquakes were in place60% of the buildings in Haiti were deemed "unsafe"Communications were poor and in some places, non-existent

Primary Effects

Primary effects are the subsequent effects of the event:

Government buildings destroyed250,000 residential and 30,000 business buildings destroyed (est.)1,000,000 people made homelessAir and seaports in the city were badly damaged and couldn't be used for the initial aid response and rescues attemptsMost hospitals were damaged or had collapsedRoads were damaged or blockedCommunications damaged:
  • The public telephone service was non-functional
  • Major mobile/cell networks lost service
  • Fibre optics were damaged
  • Out of 50 radio stations that were broadcasting before the event, only 20 were broadcasting after a week, due to damages

Secondary effects

Secondary effects are additional/indirect actions of effects of the event::

Spread of diseaseTourism to the area dropped52 aftershocks were recorded with a magnitude of 4.5 of greaterLandslide created a dam on the Rivière de Grand Goâve, which could have collected water and collapse (but didn't), causing a flood downstream

Immediate responses (short term)

The immediate responses are the goods and services countries give to the affected country in response to their recent natural disaster within a 1 week time frame:

Appeals for humanitarian aid by the UN, Red cross, etcSearch and rescue teams were sent from many different countries, with Iceland, China and Qatar being the first 3, excluding the Dominican RepublicDominican Republic helped in many different ways:
  • They opened their airport to aid for Haiti
  • Hospitals were opened to Haitians
  • Aid was given
  • Repairs of telephone and data connection lines
  • Sent mobile hospitals and mobile kitchens which served up to 100,000 meals a day

Long term responses

The long term is the resulting future plans and promises of the government, people or world who were affected or who wish to help, and this is usually within a 2 week - 2 year time frame:

Debt to other countries from borrowing to rebuild the countryEmergency plans for other earthquakes have been put in placeEconomy will shrink due to lack of business and stability in the countryJobs created in the construction industry2 years on from the earthquake (January 2012) only 43% of the promised funds have been delivered, with Japan and Finland being 2 of the few countries which have fully donated their pledged amount - USA has only delivered 30% of its promised aid total

The Important Stuff

12th January 2012

Caribbean and N. American plate caused earthquake

230,000 Dead

No plans before, but global aid campaign improved situation

Plans now in place, but only 43% of money was given

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