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Haiti quake catastrophe – Update Jan 13

Posted by feww on January 13, 2010

Port-au-Prince Quake May Be the Last Straw for the Disaster-Stricken Haiti

FEWW Forecast: Another Major Earthquake Could Strike the Region Soon with a Probability of 60% [P ≥ 0.55]

FEWW Comment: The timing of this event may have been particularly “lucky” for the survivors of Haiti earthquake.

First, the event occurred at 04:53:09 pm local time when large numbers of people would have been outdoors.

Second, the earthquake occurred on land. An offshore quake could have generated a major tsunami that would have worsened the extent of the catastrophe.

FEWW Initial  Estimate of EQ casualties

However, the moderators believe up to 20,000 people may have been killed or injured as a result of the Haitian catastrophe caused by the earthquake and its aftershocks.

See also main entry for FEWW earthquake forecast:  Haiti Quake Causes Widespread Death, Destruction

Highlights of reports and eye-witness accounts as the full extent of the Haiti quake catastrophe unfolds:

  • The full scale of the catastrophe has yet to emerge.
  • The poorest country in the western hemisphere, Haiti hadn’t even remotely recovered from the destructive hurricanes in 2008.
  • About 80 percent of Haiti’s 10 million population live on the equivalent of less than $2 a day.  The capital Port-au-Prince is home to about 2 million people [officially 1.2 million population,]  many of whom live in densely populated shanty towns, locally referred to as bidonvilles.
  • Haiti was devastated by four storms two years ago, which left up to a thousand people dead,  destroyed some 15 percent of the national economy, and cost the nation about $1 billion in damage.
  • Haiti’s Presidential Palace has collapsed.


Presidential Palace. Top: Before the quake. Bottom: After. Credit: AP and AFP. Images may be subject to copyright.

The Headquarters of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), a five-story  building, has collapsed

  • Many UN staff are missing following yesterday’s quake quake.
  • Eight Chinese peacekeepers were killed in the earthquake and that 10 others are missing, the China Daily newspaper reported.
  • “The United Nations can confirm that the Headquarters of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) in Port-au-Prince has sustained serious damage along with other UN installations,” the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations said. “For the moment, a large number of personnel remain unaccounted for.”
  • Many buildings have collapsed or seriously damaged throughout the capital, Port-au-Prince. AP reported that a hospital had collapsed.
  • The mainshock struck about 370 km ESE of a M8.0 quake which struck about 65 km off the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic in 1946. The large earthquake was followed by a major M7.6 aftershock.
  • Port-au-Prince was reportedly shrouded in a blanket of dust for about 20 minutes after the earthquake struck.
  • Both Haiti and the Dominican Republic occupy the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago.
  • The most powerful earthquake to strike Haiti part of Hispaniola island occurred 200 years ago. About a dozen or so powerful earthquakes have struck Haiti side of the Hispaniola in the past 5 centuries.
  • The earthquake was also felt on the Dominican side of Hispaniola island, where residents reportedly fled from shaking buildings.
  • According to reports up to quarter of all buildings in Jacmel, another Haitian city [population 50,000,] have been  destroyed. More than 10 percent of the residents had moved to Jacmel airport seeking shelter.
  • The catastrophe will affect most of Haiti’s estimated 10 million population.
  • As of posting, 34 aftershocks measuring magnitude 4.5 or greater have been reported by USGS/EHP.

Related Links:

Please help the victims, if you can. There are many ways to help the surviving victims. But donate money only to the organizations that you know and trust.

For More Information Visit Haiti Earthquake Disaster Links Page!

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6 Responses to “Haiti quake catastrophe – Update Jan 13”

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  5. […] FEWW estimated the total number of casualties, victims killed or injured as a result of the Haiti earthquake, to be in the 20,000 ballpark. […]

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