The 2010 earthquake in Haiti was a magnitude 7.0 catastrophic earthquake with the epicenter located approximately 16 miles west of Haiti’s capital. The devastating earthquake was recorded on the 12th of January, 2010 at 21:53 UTC. At least 50 aftershocks all measuring approximately 4.5 and above had been recorded by the 24th of January, 2010. It is estimated that over 3 million Haitians were directly affected by the earthquake. According to a report by the Haitian government, more than one million people was rendered homeless, at least 316,000 people died and another estimated 300,000 injured. However, several international agencies have disputed the figures, claiming that they had been inflated to attract donor aid. For instance, the United States Agency for international development put the death toll at between 45,000 and 90,000 persons (Jacinto, 2010).
Furthermore, the Haitian government reported that over 30,000 commercial buildings and 250,000 residential homes had been damaged. This paper will focus mainly on the devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti and especially in Port-au-Prince, the summary of the events following the earthquake as well as the efforts of different international countries and humanitarian organizations to coordinate and cooperate aid measures taken in affected areas. The huge earthquake caused huge damages in Port-au-Prince as well as in the other settlements near the capital city. Several remarkable landmark buildings such as the National Assembly, the main jail, the presidential palace and the Port-au-Prince Cathedral were significantly damaged. Several international states acted in response to appeals for charitable aid, promising funds as well as dispatching medical and rescue teams, support personnel and engineers. Most of the Haitian infrastructures such as sea, land and air transport facilities, communication systems as well as hospitals were damaged by the earthquake, hampering aid and rescue efforts.
Misunderstanding over who was in control, massive congestion in air traffic as well as problems in prioritizing flights further complicated the relief work. Following the earthquake, the morgues in Port-au-Prince were rapidly overwhelmed with tens of thousands of bodies that had to be buried in mass graves. As the rescuing mission came to an end, the supply of sanitation, medical care and other social amenities became a priority. However, a delay in the distribution of aid sparked irate appeals from survivors and aid workers, sporadic violence and looting. By the end of January 2010, the United Nations reported that the emergency phase of the relief program was coming to an end and the search for more survivors was halted.
According to Margesson and Maureen (2010), Haiti can be described as the poorest state in the Americas as the statistics of the Human development index says. The country has been marred by severe political violence throughout history. Even in the current post-colonial era, the modern Haiti, possibly due to its closeness to the United States, has found itself under American intervention and influence, with the cost still ubiquitous many decades after frequent historical invasions and occupations. Historically Haiti has been – and still remains - a vital ingredient of America’s local and global approach. If there is any particular environmental and political feature that has most profoundly subjected the past, current, and the expected outlook of Haiti, it is the American participation (Margesson and Maureen, 2010).
During the nights after the earthquake, many people in Haiti slept on pavements, in the streets, in their cars or in improvised shanty towns since they house had been destroyed or they feared the standing structures would not bear the aftershocks. There were no building codes and the standard of construction is low in Haiti. Many engineers have expressed feeling that it was very unlikely that several buildings would have withstood such kind of disaster. The challenges in Haiti are all scary due to the human suffering involved as well as the dreadful death toll sheer scale of devastation not only to the institutional setting and social fabric, but also to the overall state of infrastructure. There are numerous and practical lessons for efficiency and effectiveness. Nonetheless, lots of questions will also be special and new to Haiti; such as how life normalizes in the absence of proper government institution, how the social networks of post-disaster are shaped, the significance of a multi-donor aid effort as well as how even such a huge calamity might offer the possibility for a fresh beginning.
As Haiti comes to terms with the overwhelmng undertaking towards full recovery following the devastating earthquake, previous experiences present some important lessons. creating a crucial variation to the usefulness of actions seem to be the character of the instant response, analysis, project supervision and design, the application of local capacity, the links in private sectors as well as the coordination partners such as the World Bank Group. Several lessons from earlier episodes are applicable now; yet Haiti's discrete country conditions must also be kept in mind. Certainly, various aspects make the reaction in Haiti particularly devastating: the collapse of community organization and a delicate safety condition, the near-absolute loss of authority constructions, and failed enforcement of even the lowest value principles on the construction sector. Obscuring issues will be the exceptional degree of the benevolent contributions allocated for disaster aid, and the onset of various organizations new to the nation, inclined to prioritize independent achievement over synchronization (Barnes, 2011).
Préval, the head of state and regime ministers employed police head offices close to the Toussaint Airport as their new region of actions, even though their efficiency was tremendously restricted; some parliamentarians were left in the Presidential fortress, and workplaces and reports had been damaged.Some prominent administration personnel lost their relatives or had to assist injured family members. Even though the head of state and his residual cabinet held meetings with UN conspirators daily, there lingered perplexity as to who was responsible, and no particular group had prearranged assistance attempts as of mid-January. The administration relinquished management of the airstrip to the United States to speed up and simplify the travelling procedures, which had been hindered by the harm inflicted upon the air travel management tower.
Nearly instantly, Port-au-Prince's morgue amenities were besieged. By mid-January, hundreds of corpses had been positioned on the roads and streets. Administration troops operated vans to amass thousands extra bodies, interring them in mass cemeteries. In the high temperature and moisture, bodies covered in debris started to decay and stink. Goldstein, the leader of the Israeli ZAKA global salvage division designation to Haiti, illustrated the condition as Shabbat emerging from hell. In all places, the unpleasant odor of corpses dispersed in the atmosphere. Indeed, the place was real insanity, and the more time elapsed, the more the dead bodies accumulated in figures that cannot be calculated. It was beyond understanding.
Mayor Jean-Yves alleged that administrators quarreled for hours regarding the action to take on the number of dead bodies. The administration buried the majority in mass cemeteries, while the others were buried in graves made above the ground which were opened by force so that the corpses could be piled in, and others were set on fire. Mass cemeteries were excavated in an extensive ground outside the dwelling places of Titanyen, north of the head city; tens of thousands of corpses were accounted as having been transported to the position by garbage vans and obscured in channels plowed by ground movers.
The Haitian administration stated a system to relocate the destitute citizens outside Port-au-Prince on a ship to Port Jeremie and in leased vehicles to short-term sites. Cities in the eastern Dominican Republic started organizing for tens of thousands of immigrants, and by mid-January infirmaries near the boundary had been completely crammed with wounded Haitians. By the 17th of January, some hospitals embarked on giving accounts on having exhausted supplies of significant health care provisions like antibiotics. The boundary was armored by Dominican defense forces, and the regime of the Dominican state declared that all Haitians who went beyond the boundary for health care support would be permitted to settle only momentarily. A neighboring administrator said that they had immense aspiration and they would accomplish anything humanly achievable to assist Haitian people. He also said that there were scarcities of drugs and food, thus, they needed support from neighboring countries.
Controlled allocation of property in the days subsequent to the tremor led to intermittent hostility, with raiding incidents. There were as well reports of robbers injured or murdered by vigilantes and environs that had built their own street barriers. Some doctors asserted that propaganda and exaggerated information of violent behavior had hindered the release of support and remedial facilities. The U.S. leader Barack Obama declared that previous heads of state, Bill Clinton, who also serrves as the UN exceptional representative to Haiti, and George Bush would attempt to accumulate finances for Haiti's recuperation. Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Secretary, went to Haiti on the 16th of January to assess the harm and confirmed that U.S. $48million had been accrued by then in the U.S. to assist Haiti pull through. Following the conference with Secretary Clinton, Préval, the head of state, said that the uppermost precedence in Haiti's resurgence were setting up an operational administration, clearing infrastructure, and making sure that the roads were cleared of corpses to develop hygienic environments (Helen, 2004).
On the 16th of January, Joe Biden, the U.S. Vice President articulated that President Obama did not see that as a compassionate undertaking with an existence phase of a month. It would continue to be on the U.S. radar monitor even years after it's off the flatterer at CNN. It would be a permanent thing. Josseline Fethiere, the minister of Trade and Industry anticipated that the tremor's loss on the Haitian financial system would be enormous, with one in five professions lost. In reaction to the tremor, many regimes gave extremely desirable monetary support. The European Union assured Haiti €330million for crisis management and continued supporting the country. Brazil proclaimed R$375million for lasting upturn support, R$25 million of which in instant finances (Lies, 2010).
The United Kingdom dedicated %u20A420million in support, whereas France pledged €10million. Italy declared that it would surrender settlement of the €40million it had lent to Haiti, and the World Bank relinquished the nation's arrears reimbursements for half a decade. On the 14th of January, the U.S. administration declared that it would offer US$100million to the assistance attempt and promised that the citizens of Haiti would not be disregarded. In the upshot of the tremor, Canada's full donation was C$135million. Oda Bev, the Global Support Minister offered Haiti C$290 million in lasting aid and C$8 million in payment of arrears. Other than Canada's central government, the administrations of various regions and provinces of Canada also stated that they would give instantaneous disaster support to Haiti. At the 2010 Francophonie Conference, both regional administration of Quebec and the Canadian centralized administration confirmed their dedication to reconstructing Haiti.
Senegal’s Head of state Wade presented property in Senegal free of charge to the fascinated Haitians; dependent on how many Haitians act in response to the proposal, this could comprise up to a whole province. Prime Minister Bellerive declared that since the 29th of January, the citizens would be assisted to transfer from the region of destruction, to regions where they could be capable of depending on family members or better provide for themselves; citizens who had become destitute would be transferred to the improvised campsites formed by inhabitants inside the capital, where a more centered release of help and hygiene could be accomplished. Port-au-Prince, in relation to a global research lecturer at the University of Miami, was badly prepared prior to the catastrophe to uphold the quantity of citizens who had travelled there from the villages over the previous decade to locate employment. Following the tremor, thousands of Port-au-Prince inhabitants started going back to the countryside settlements they had initially came from.
Various associations of the U.S. construction business and administration, like the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are bringing together a "Haiti Toolkit". The toolkit would include constructing machinery property and paramount performances for contemplation by the Haitian regime with the aim of making a more flexible transportation to avoid upcoming human fatalities. Immediately after the earthquake, Real Medicine institution started giving health care recruitment; in-kind health provisions and planned organization to assist meet the swelling requirements of the wellbeing disaster on the ground. Operating in secure corporation with the other aid groups, Real Medicine planned employment of volunteer health experts to meet the requirements of associate sanatoriums and hospitals at the Haiti–Dominican nation boundary and in Port-au-Prince, giving express financial support, remedial equipment and medicaments to neighboring medical amenities and associate hospitals; offering consultative services and management to neighboring hospitals, together with physical rehabilitation assistance, and harmonizing portable medical crusades, field hospitals and food provisions to remote rural communities disregarded in the relief attempt (Barnes, 2011).