The part of the earth that people occupy are called tectonic plates. Below this layer is a layer called asthenosphere, which holds the tectonic plates. The asthenosphere is molten and flows slowly while the plates move too. The movement of a plate depends because some will move past each other and others will crash into each other. The edges of these two plates are locked together or stuck. As a result, the asthenosphere has to move. This causes pressure accumulation underneath the earth’s surface. When the plates slide away from each other, a lot of energy is released. This causes an earth movement called an earthquake (Aroni, 25). Haiti is located near the boundary of the Caribbean and North American plates. Plates are slabs, which appear on the earth’s surface. These plates have been known to move past each other. Annually they create a difference of 0.8 inches. This is equivalent to twenty millimeters of how the plate slips. The Caribbean plate gradually moved to the eastern part of the North American plate. Eventually, there was an earthquake on the Caribbean plate. The fault lines of Enriquillo and Plaintain Garden went past each other and emitted a lot of energy. This is what specifically caused the Haiti earthquakes (Lies, 11).
The reason why this earthquake killed so many people was due to its magnitude and intensity. Its magnitude was 7.0 according to the Richter scale and went 6.2 miles down the earth’s surface. Since this is a shallow depth, it suggests that a lot of energy was released to the earth’s surface, causing deaths. This also caused violent shaking of the ground, causing destruction, as well as deaths and injuries. When the ground shook, anything on it tumbled down. These included buildings, heavy machinery among other things. Morales-Taft, 25 says that no one was aware of the catastrophe. When the earthquake started, the buildings and people’s houses began collapsing, which included the president’s residence and the parliament building. People were caught unaware and could not save their lives. It was not possible to rescue all the people and therefore, so many people lost their lives.
There are people who also lost their lives because of trauma. For example, there were several who were already suffering other diseases (Quattara, 15). After realizing what has happened, they may have experienced severe trauma and died. There were other people in hospitals who also succumbed to their injuries.The data collected indicated that about three million people, or more, were affected. Three hundred and sixteen people lost their lives, one million lost their homes and scores others were injured. The government carried out a survey on damaged buildings and found out that two hundred and fifty thousand homes and thirty thousand commercial buildings had been destroyed (Stengel, 20).
When this deadly calamity took place, many people had to sleep in the open and get exposed to cold. They did not have food or clothing. To their relief, so many countries all over the world, positively responded to help Haiti. Some of the agencies including United States Agency for International Development and other humanitarian organizations. The first help Haiti got was to rescue survivors and treat the injured. Those humanitarian organizations also brought food to the hungry Haitians. The officers helped the homeless people to make temporary shelters before they figured out where they would live (Lies, 30). As time went by, more humanitarian bodies and countries joined in to help in Haiti’s recovery. The United States of America has greatly assisted Haiti in its recovery process. President Barrack Obama promised Haitians America’s full support. He said this, as he was releasing supplies being sent to the needy Haitians. United Nation donated about ten million dollars for emergencies and any other necessities. Both the World Bank, and America gave a hundred million dollars. Some countries like Canada sent military aid to Haiti to assist in rescuing and cleaning the towns. The Canadian Ministry of International Cooperation donated fifty million to help the Haitians get food every day and at least get a decent place to sleep. Another body that volunteered to help Haiti was the European Commission. It donated almost five million dollars for food and other basic commodities (Stengel, 56).
It will take several years for Haiti to recover from the catastrophe. By July 2010, not much clearing had been done. The towns were impassable because even corpses were still not fully collected. People lived in camps and tents as they waited to get assistance for better housing. The crime rate increased because of too much communal living in poorly developed areas. Within the first year of the disaster, only 5 percent of cleaning had been done, and fifteen percent of the temporary housing had been done. Today, Haiti continues to receive monetary help (Morales-Taft, 34). They are requesting people from all over the world to pledge funds for rebuilding Haiti. The most challenging fact is that Haiti is also affected by hurricanes. It has proven to be extremely difficult to prepare for this because of lack of adequate funds. The death toll continues to increase and more people have rendered homeless. If Haiti wants to quickly recover, it has to hasten on the recovery process. During the first anniversary of the earthquake, Michaelle Jean, who is Haiti born and an official in the United nation organization. She registered her disappointment because donations of funds are taking too slowly before they get to Haitians. This could be one of the reasons why Haiti is taking too long to get back to its feet, even after having a new president.
Aroni, Miriam. Earthquake in Haiti. Washington, D.C. General books, LLC. 2010. Print
Lies, Anne. The earthquake in Haiti. Michigan: Abdo. 2011. Print
Morales-Taft, Maureen. Haiti Earthquakes: Crisis and Response. New York: Diane Publishing. 2011. Print
Quattara, Issoufou. Haiti Earthquakes. Illinois. Create space. 2010. Print.
Stengel, Richard. Time earthquakes Haiti: tragedy and hope. California: Time Home Entertainment. 2010. Print