Haiti. Earthquake, 2010
Period: 12 January 2010
Type of disaster: Earthquake
Disaster: Large parts of the country of Haiti, and in particular the capital, are destroyed
Estimated number of victims: 250,000 deaths and 1.5 million people flee their homes
The earthquake that hits Haiti on the afternoon of 12 January 2010 is the worst to shake this country in over a century. The quake is even felt in Venezuela and on the neighbouring islands of Jamaica, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. The epicentre is located some fifteen kilometres to the south-west of Port-au-Prince, the densely populated capital with two million inhabitants. The damage is enormous, and large parts of the city lie in ruins. The reconstruction of Haiti is hampered by a weak government and corruption. The lack of coordination between the many (foreign) organisations affects the effectiveness of the relief effort. By the end of 2012, about 80 percent of all rubble has been cleared away. Some 350,000 Haitians still live in camps, although that figure was 1.5 million in 2010.
After the earthquake, a total of € 111 million in donations is lodged to a national account known as Giro 555, specially set up for fundraising. Two years later € 67 million has been spent. The huge task of providing emergency aid and supervising reconstruction proceeds with difficulty. In the year after the earthquake, Haiti also has to cope with heavy rainfall, hurricanes and floods. New elections are held after the president steps down. An outbreak of cholera caused by poor hygiene causes almost 8,000 deaths. By the end of 2012, over 600,000 Haitians are infected. The money donated is spent on new houses, food, water supplies, personnel and transport costs. Relief organisations want to use the remainder of the money by the end of 2014. Many houses still have to be rebuilt or repaired, and water supplies have to be restored.