Twelve years ago this week, a devastating M7.0 earthquake struck Haiti. Hundreds of thousands of people died in buildings that collapsed, and even more were injured. In the department (similar to a state in the U.S.) with the strongest shaking, over 80% of public schools were destroyed. The ripple effects of that disaster continue to be felt by Haitians today.
Most Haitian cities still face a similar threat. Active faults could generate damaging earthquakes and in some cases a lethal tsunami. Just this past August, a M7.2 earthquake struck southern Haiti killing thousands. A tropical depression followed, highlighting the threat of tropical storms that the island also faces.
Many people still live in unsafe buildings and vulnerable locations. Hospitals and first responders need proactive planning to be able to provide lifesaving services when they’re most needed. And for communities, understanding actions to take before, during, and after a disaster can save lives.
This month, we are remembering the victims from the 2010 and 2021 earthquakes, but we are also taking action toward a future that is safer from disasters. Activities have included a large public event to promote disaster resilience, a training program for firefighters and police officers, and a school resilience campaign. Garmalia Mentor-William, GHI Haiti Representative, was featured on various radio stations, where she highlighted the importance of proactive disaster resilience. For more on these activities, please see our social media channels (links in the footer).
Youth in Cap-Haitien describing their efforts to promote disaster resilience, at the commemoration event of the 2010 earthquake
Later this month, we will be hosting a panel discussion where you can hear directly from our team in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. They will share their experience and perspectives on how natural hazard events have affected Haiti and neighboring Dominican Republic. These two countries share the island of Hispaniola and face similar natural hazards. You’ll hear about what’s improved since the 2010 earthquake, some of the remaining and new challenges, and how a proactive, long-term approach is essential for lasting progress.
We hope you can join us. You can register here.
Veronica Cedillos, President & CEO
P.S. For more on the activities to commemorate the 2010 earthquake anniversary, follow us on social media.
Bhutan · Dominican Republic · Haiti · India · Nepal · U.S.A.