Haiti Earthquake Facts and Figures

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Haiti Before the Earthquake

  • Haiti was 145th of 169 countries in the UN Human Development Index, which is the lowest in the Western Hemisphere
  • More than 70% of people in Haiti were living on less than $US 2 per day.
  • 86% of people in Port au Prince were living in slum conditions - mostly tightly-packed, poorly-built, concrete buildings.
  • 80% of education in Haiti was provided in often poor-quality private schools, the state system generally provided better education but provided far too few places.
  • Half of people in Port-au-Prince had no access to latrines and only one-third has access to tap water

Impact of the 12 January earthquake

  • 7.0 Magnitude Quake struck near Port au Prince
  • 3,500,000 people were affected by the quake
  • 220,000 people died 300,000+ people were injured
  • Over 180,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, 1.5m people became homeless
  • After the quake there were 19 million cubic meters of rubble and debris in Port au Prince - enough to fill a line of shipping containers stretching end to end from London to Beirut.
  • 4,000 schools were damaged or destroyed
  • 25% of civil servants in Port au Prince died
  • Over 600,000 people left their home area in Port-au-Prince and mostly stayed with host families
  • At its peak, one and a half million people were living in camps including over 100,000 at critical risk from storms and flooding 
  • 4,000+ people were killed by cholera, and 216,000 were infected

One Year Later

Despite all of the international aid, recovery in Haiti has been a slow process. One year later the country is still struggling to rebuild cities like Port au Prince and Jacmel as well as its medical & political infrastructure. Social problems still plague Haiti & its health conditions have deteriorated. For example in Nov. 2010, an outbreak of cholera began in the shanty towns & tent camps in & around Port au Prince. Some estimates say that the outbreak killed more than 580 people and hospitalized over 9,000 in the northern part of Haiti. Cholera remains a concern in Haiti today because of its systems of drinking water & poor sanitation.

In addition to poor health conditions, Haiti also had to deal with severe flooding in some parts of Port au Prince in November 2010 after Hurricane Tomas struck the Caribbean. Many refugee camps outside of the capital in rural areas were quickly flooded by storm surge which further Haiti's hampered recovery efforts.

In spite of these problems though, as well as many others, Haiti has made some progress in its recovery. For example, officials have developed plans to construct affordable housing for the many people who lost their homes in the earthquake. The program is called the Haiti Housing Collaborative and architects from around the world have worked to create six possible designs for the housing units. Other plans to rebuild are also in the works but for the most part, rebuilding has been sparse and remains slow due to a lack of funding and organization internationally and in Haiti itself.

Haiti also underwent presidential elections in late November 2010 and a runoff election was originally scheduled for January 16, 2011 but problems with the first election as well as violent protests in Port au Prince have delayed the election. As such, Haiti is still struggling to regain political and social stability.

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