2010 Haiti earthquake

2010 Haiti earthquake
Ruins of the Cathedral in the centre of Port au Prince.jpg
The heavily damaged National Palace after the earthquake.
Saint-MarcLéogânePetit-GoâveJacmelPort-au-PrinceHaiti earthquake map.png
The epicenter of the earthquake and the surrounding major cities in Haiti.
UTC time2010-01-12 21:53
Local date12 January 2010
Local time16:53:10 EST
Magnitude7.0 Mw
Depth13 km (8.1 mi)
Epicenter18°28′N 72°32′W / 18°28′N 72°32′W / 18.46; -72.53
Areas affectedHaiti, Dominican Republic
Max. intensityIX (Violent)
Peak acceleration0.5 g[1]
TsunamiYes (localized)[2]
Casualties100,000 to 316,000 deaths (the higher figure is from a government estimate widely charged with being deliberately inflated;[3] a figure of about 160,000 is provided in a 2010 University of Michigan study;[4] the 100,000 figure is suggested by the U.S. Geological Survey.)[5]

The 2010 Haiti earthquake (French: Séisme de 2010 à Haïti; Haitian Creole: Tranblemanntè 12 janvye 2010 nan peyi Ayiti) was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, with an epicenter near the town of Léogâne (Ouest), approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. The earthquake occurred at 16:53 local time (21:53 UTC) on Tuesday, 12 January 2010.[6][7]

By 24 January, at least 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 or greater had been recorded.[8] An estimated three million people were affected by the quake.[9] Death toll estimates range from 100,000[5] to about 160,000[4] to Haitian government figures from 220,000[10][11] to 316,000; these have been widely characterized as deliberately inflated by the Haitian government.[3] The government of Haiti estimated that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings had collapsed or were severely damaged.[12] The nation's history of national debt, prejudicial trade policies by other countries, and foreign intervention into national affairs, contributed to the existing poverty and poor housing conditions that increased the death toll from the disaster.[13]

The earthquake caused major damage in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel and other cities in the region. Notable landmark buildings were significantly damaged or destroyed, including the Presidential Palace, the National Assembly building, the Port-au-Prince Cathedral, and the main jail. Among those killed were Archbishop of Port-au-Prince Joseph Serge Miot,[14] and opposition leader Micha Gaillard.[15][16] The headquarters of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), located in the capital, collapsed, killing many, including the Mission's Chief, Hédi Annabi.[17][18]

Many countries responded to appeals for humanitarian aid, pledging funds and dispatching rescue and medical teams, engineers and support personnel. Communication systems, air, land, and sea transport facilities, hospitals, and electrical networks had been damaged by the earthquake, which hampered rescue and aid efforts; confusion over who was in charge, air traffic congestion, and problems with prioritising flights further complicated early relief work. Port-au-Prince's morgues were overwhelmed with tens of thousands of bodies. These had to be buried in mass graves.[19]

As rescues tailed off, supplies, medical care and sanitation became priorities. Delays in aid distribution led to angry appeals from aid workers and survivors, and looting and sporadic violence were observed. On 22 January the United Nations noted that the emergency phase of the relief operation was drawing to a close, and on the following day, the Haitian government officially called off the search for survivors.


The island of Hispaniola, shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic, is seismically active and has a history of destructive earthquakes. During Haiti's time as a French colony, earthquakes were recorded by French historian Moreau de Saint-Méry (1750–1819). He described damage done by an earthquake in 1751, writing that "only one masonry building had not collapsed" in Port-au-Prince; he also wrote that the "whole city collapsed" in the 1770 Port-au-Prince earthquake. Cap-Haïtien, other towns in the north of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and the Sans-Souci Palace were destroyed during an earthquake on 7 May 1842.[20] A magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck the Dominican Republic and shook Haiti on 4 August 1946, producing a tsunami that killed 1,790 people and injured many others.[21]

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and is ranked 149th of 182 countries on the Human Development Index.[22] The Australian government's travel advisory site had previously expressed concerns that Haitian emergency services would be unable to cope in the event of a major disaster,[23] and the country is considered "economically vulnerable" by the Food and Agriculture Organization.[24] Haiti is no stranger to natural disasters. In addition to earthquakes, it has been struck frequently by tropical cyclones, which have caused flooding and widespread damage. The most recent cyclones to hit the island before the earthquake were Tropical Storm Fay and Hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike, all in the summer of 2008, causing nearly 800 deaths.[25]

Other Languages
Bahasa Indonesia: Gempa bumi Haiti 2010
Bahasa Melayu: Gempa bumi Haiti 2010
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ၂၀၁၀ ဟေတီငလျင်
Simple English: 2010 Haiti earthquake
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Potres na Haitiju 2010.