Natural Disasters In Haiti

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Haiti ranks as one of the countries with the highest exposure to multiple hazards, according to the World Bank’s Natural Disaster Hotspot study. Haiti lies in the middle of the Caribbean Basin and has the 5th highest mortality risk to two or more hazards. With 96% of its population living at risk, Haiti has the highest vulnerability rating in terms of cyclones among the region’s small island states (12.9 on a scale of 13). The effects of cyclones include wind damage, flooding, land/mudslides and coastal surges. Haiti is highly vulnerable to hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, landslides and droughts. This vulnerability is greatly influenced and exacerbated by the country 's poverty, continuous state of complex emergency and environmental degradation.…show more content…
In a 2008 report, Haitian geologist Claude Prépetit cites 18 major earthquakes that occurred in Haiti between 1564 and 1789 (Prépetit 2008). Of these, 15 occurred during the eighteenth century. The earthquakes of 1751 and 1770 both severely affected Port-au-Prince, and the 1770 earthquake that destroyed the still young city only recently incorporated in 1749 is often referred to as the “Port-au-Prince earthquake.” This event was likely caused by the Enriquillo fault, although seismologists cannot be absolutely positive about this (Lacassin et al. 2010).The Enriquillo fault (where Haiti is located) ruptured on 12th January 2010 at 4:53 p.m local time and generated shocks that continue for 35seconds. According to RMS 2010 most of the energy was released during first 15 second. Since it was a shallow earthquake whose epicenter was located at a depth of 13km near to the heavily crowded capital of the country therefore more destruction happened. This only was not the end. The main earthquake was followed by the 50 aftershocks with magnitude more than 4 for consequently 8 days. The…show more content…
2010). Though it has significant magnitude but it was not an exceptional phenomenon. Many such earthquakes have happened in the world. Based on the observations since 1900, United States Geological survey says that on an average 15 earthquakes of same magnitude happen every year. Its intensity was measured in the Modern Mercalli scale which shows X scale out of XII. The Haiti earthquake is the smallest earthquake among the top ten earthquakes of the two decades. Hence, we can say that the losses caused are not just because of its geographical agent. Bilham (2010) called for a UN enforcement of building codes in support of his survey where he shows that the damage is not proportional to magnitude of the earthquake. In 1995 Japan faced an earthquake with a similar magnitude but its damage was not as large as Haiti. The table given below shows the comparative destruction in Kobe and Haiti as well. This event also supports the Bilham’s work. Even, the epicenter was located very near to the populated area same as Haiti, but the losses were more severe in Haiti which reflects the Haiti’s

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