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Posts Tagged ‘PORT-AU-PRINCE’

Red Cross Raised $500Million for Haiti ­and Built Six Homes

Posted by feww on June 5, 2015

Where is the money?

After the devastating 2010 earthquake that struck Haiti, Western hemisphere’s poorest country, the Red Cross received about $500 million in donations.

“In late 2011, the Red Cross launched a multimillion-dollar project to transform the desperately poor area, which was hit hard by the earthquake that struck Haiti the year before. The main focus of the project — called LAMIKA, an acronym in Creole for ‘A Better Life in My Neighborhood’ — was building hundreds of permanent homes,” according to a report by ProPublica and NPR.

“Today, not one home has been built in Campeche [a neighborhood that sprawls up a steep hillside in Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince.] Many residents live in shacks made of rusty sheet metal, without access to drinkable water, electricity or basic sanitation. When it rains, their homes flood and residents bail out mud and water.”

The Red Cross claims it has provided homes to at least 130,000 people. But the investigation found that the group has built only six homes in all of Haiti.

Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern unveiled ambitious plans to “develop brand-new communities,” after the earthquake devastated the country. “None has ever been built,” says the report.

Red Cross saw the Haiti earthquake disaster as “a spectacular fundraising opportunity,” says a former official who helped with the fundraising. “Michelle Obama, the NFL and a long list of celebrities appealed for donations to the group”

Now, the Red Cross refuses to release details of how it has spent the hundreds of millions of dollars donated for Haiti. But the investigation reveals that far less money reached the quake victims than the Red Cross has claimed.


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Earthquake Damage in Haiti: Engineers Report

Posted by feww on February 23, 2010

University of Washington: Public Release

Earthquake engineers release report on damage in Haiti

A five-person team sent to evaluate damage from the devastating magnitude-7 [Max magnitude estimated at 7.3 by FEWW] earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12 found no surface evidence of the fault that might have caused the quake, but installed four instruments to measure aftershocks and help pinpoint the epicenter.

Tectonic Map of the area. Click image to enlarge. Source: USGS

University of Washington civil and environmental engineering professor Marc Eberhard led the team that provided engineering support to the United States Southern Command, responsible for all U.S. military activities in South and Central America.

Eberhard is lead author on a report released late last week to the national Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and the United States Geological Survey, both of which sponsored the trip. The report is posted at

A main conclusion is that much of the loss of human life could have been prevented by using earthquake-resistant designs and construction, as well as improved quality control in concrete and masonry work. The authors recommend that simple and cost-effective earthquake engineering be emphasized in Haiti’s rebuilding effort.

The group also gathered more seismic data. Assessing an earthquake’s magnitude can be done from afar, Eberhard said, but establishing the location requires several stations fairly close to the earthquake’s center. Such monitoring stations were not present in Haiti. Knowing the location will help understand what caused the earthquake and forecast the likelihood of future quakes in the area, he said.

Figure 43. Fissures caused by lateral spreading at (a) eastern and (b) western ends of the North Wharf. Source: USGS/EERI Haiti EQ Damage report.

The team provided a ground assessment of places that were worst hit, including the port in Port-au-Prince, the cathedral, the National Palace, the Hotel Montana and the Union School, attended by children of many nationalities. They photographed damage in smaller towns and assessed the safety of hospitals, schools, bridges and other critical facilities.

A survey of 107 buildings in a heavily damaged part of downtown Port-au-Prince found that 28 percent had collapsed and a third would require repairs. A survey of 52 buildings in nearby Léogâne found that more than 90 percent had either collapsed or will require repairs.

“A lot of the damaged structures will have to be destroyed,” Eberhard commented. “It’s not just 100 buildings or 1,000 buildings. It’s a huge number of buildings, which I can’t even estimate.”

Many people asked team members to inspect buildings where the occupants were camped outside because they feared a collapse.

“There’s an enormous amount of fear,” Eberhard said. “People may see cracks in their houses. A large part of what we were doing was identifying what was serious damage versus what was cosmetic damage.”


For more information, contact Eberhard at or  Hannah Hickey at
University of Washington

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USGS/EERI Advance Reconnaissance Team
February 18, 2010

Executive Summary:
A field reconnaissance in Haiti by a five-member team with expertise in seismology and earthquake engineering has revealed a number of factors that led to catastrophic losses of life and property during the January 12, 2010, Mw = 7.0 earthquake. The field study was conducted January 26 – February 3, 2010, and included investigations in Port-au-Prince and the heavily damaged communities to the west, including Léogâne, Grand Goâve, Petite Goâve, and Oliver.

Seismology. Despite recent seismic quiescence, Haiti has suffered similar devastating earthquakes in the historic past (1751, 1770, 1860). Haiti had no seismographic stations during the main earthquake, so it is impossible to estimate accurately the intensity of ground motions. Nonetheless, the wide range of buildings damaged by the January 12, 2010 earthquake suggests that the ground motions contained seismic energy over a wide range of frequencies. Another earthquake of similar magnitude could strike at any time on the eastern end of the Enriquillo fault, directly to the south of Port-au-Prince. Reconstruction must take this hazard into account.

The four portable seismographs installed by the team recorded a series of small aftershocks. As expected, the ground motions recorded at a hard rock site contained a greater proportion of high frequencies than the motions recorded at a soil site. Two of the stations continue to monitor seismic activity.
A thorough field investigation led the team to conclude that this earthquake was unlikely to have produced any surface rupture.

Geotechnical Aspects: Soil liquefaction, landslides and rockslides in cut slopes, and road embankment failures contributed to extensive damage in Port-au-Prince and elsewhere. A lack of detailed knowledge of the physical conditions of the soils (e.g., lithology, stiffness, density, and thickness) made it difficult for us to quantitatively assess the role of ground-motion amplification in the widespread damage.

Buildings: The Haitian Ministry of Statistics and Infomatics reported that one-story buildings represent 73% of the building inventory. Most ordinary, one-story houses have roofs made of sheet metal (82%), whereas most multi-story houses and apartments have roofs made of concrete (71%). Walls made of concrete/block/stone predominate both in ordinary houses and apartments.

It appears that the widespread damage to residences, and commercial and government buildings was attributable to a great extent to the lack of attention in design and construction to the possibility of earthquakes. In many cases, the structural types, member dimensions, and detailing practices were inadequate to resist strong ground motions. These vulnerabilities may have been exacerbated by poor construction practices. Reinforced concrete frames with concrete block masonry infill appeared to perform particularly poorly. Structures with light (timber or sheet metal) roofs performed better compared with structures with concrete roofs and slabs.

The seismic performance of some buildings was adequate, and some of the damaged buildings appeared to have had low deformation demands. These observations suggest that structures designed and constructed with adequate stiffness and reinforcing details would have resisted the earthquake without being damaged severely.
A damage survey of 107 buildings in downtown Port-au-Prince indicated that 28% had collapsed and another 33% were damaged enough to require repairs. A similar survey of 52 buildings in Léogâne found that 62% had collapsed and another 31% required repairs.

There was no evidence of bridge collapses attributable to the earthquake. Most bridges in Port-au-Prince are simple box culverts consisting of 2.0 to 2.5 meter (6 to 8 ft) deep box girders. However, in several cases the roadway settled differentially between the approaches and the section spanning the culvert. Multi-span bridges on primary routes are engineered structures that experienced some damage but are still serviceable.

Port Facilities: The main port in Port-au-Prince suffered extensive damage during the earthquake, inhibiting the delivery of relief supplies. The collapse of the North Wharf appears to have been caused by liquefaction-induced lateral spreading. The westernmost 120 meters (400 ft) of the South Pier collapsed, and approximately 85% of the vertical and batter piles supporting the remaining section were moderately damaged or broken. The remaining section of pier was shut down to vehicle traffic following additional damage that occurred during an aftershock. The collapse of a pile-supported pier at the Varreux Terminal resulted in the deaths of about 30 people working on the pier at the time of the earthquake. Less severe damage, including a small oil spill, occurred at a marine oil terminal located near Port-au-Prince.

Damage to Institutions:
The functioning of the government and social infrastructure was seriously deteriorated by the loss of personnel, records and facilities. Such losses occurred in numerous clinics, hospitals, police stations, schools, universities, palaces, ministries and churches. These losses have compromised the recovery and reconstruction efforts.

Satellite Imagery: The use of use of remote sensing data, including satellite and aerial imagery, proved highly effective in assisting damage assessment, evaluating the extent of landslides, and guiding rescue and recovery efforts. Light Detecting and Ranging (LIDAR) technology has been effective to create three-dimensional images for damage assessment and rebuilding operations.

Conclusions: The massive human losses can be attributed to a lack of attention to earthquake-resistant design and construction practices, and absence of quality control of concrete and masonry work. The historic pattern of prior earthquakes in Haiti indicates that a Mw 7 earthquake or larger could strike southern Haiti near Port-au-Prince at any time. Reconstruction must therefore be based on sound, simple and cost-effective engineering practice for all possible natural hazards. These principles must be clearly communicated to the citizens of Haiti who are afraid to reoccupy their homes for fear of the next event. Additional fact gathering is needed, both to quantify the January 12th fault rupture and earthquake history (inputs to calculations of future earthquake probabilities), and to more comprehensively evaluate damage to buildings and infrastructure, so as to inform decisions about reconstruction.

Posted in earthquake, haiti earthquake report | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Another Strong Quake Strikes Haiti as Expected

Posted by feww on January 20, 2010

Earthquake Measuring Up to 6.4 Mw Strikes Offshore 60 km  WSW of PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti

The earthquake struck 9.9 km (6.2 miles), but was poorly constrained, USGS/EHP reported.

The event occurred about 880 km of  a strong quake that struck near the Grand Cayman earlier today.

On January 13 after the first powerful earthquake struck, FEWW said:

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

FEWW Moderators also forecast earlier to day as follows:

The Gonave Microplate, near the boundaries of which this earthquake occurred, could produce more seismicity in 2010, with possibly another powerful quake measuring 7.4 to 7.6Mw striking its southern boundary.  Kingston, Jamaica could experience a powerful quake with a probability of 65 percent.

10-degree Map Centered at 20°N,75°W

Earthquake Location map. Source: USGS/EHP. Enhanced by FEWW.

Estimated Population Exposed to Earthquake Shaking.
Click Image for USGS PDF file.

Earthquake Details

  • Magnitude: 6.1 [EQ magnitude estimated by FEWW: 6.4 Mw]
  • Date-Time:
    • Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 11:03:44 UTC
    • Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 06:03:44 AM at epicenter
  • Location: 18.428°N, 72.875°W
  • Depth: 9.9 km (6.2 miles) (poorly constrained)
  • Region: HAITI REGION
  • Distances:
    • 60 km (35 miles) WSW of PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti
    • 95 km (60 miles) ENE of Les Cayes, Haiti
    • 160 km (100 miles) SSW of Cap-Haitien, Haiti
    • 1110 km (690 miles) SE of Miami, Florida
  • Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 6.5 km (4.0 miles); depth +/- 25.7 km (16.0 miles) –Possible error
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID: us2010rsbb

USGS Shakemap. Click image to enlarge.

Seismic Hazard Map. Major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green  (USGS). Click image to enlarge.

Major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green. Location Map (USGS). Click image to enlarge.

Map of Haiti. USGS/EHP

Major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green. Location Map (USGS). Click image to enlarge.

Tsunami Advisory:

The quake should have produced a small local tsunami. However, the NWS Pacific Tsunami Warning Center at Ewa Beach, Hawaii, at 11:11 UTC Wed Jan 20,  2010 said:

A destructive tsunami was not generated based on earthquake and historical tsunami data. This earthquake is located too far inland to generate a tsunami in the Caribbean.

The coordinates provided by NWSPTWC were: 18.6 NORTH 72.9 WEST.  And the Quake Location Details according to USGS were: 18.428°N, 72.875°W
Both sets of coordinates place the quake epicenter offshore Haiti, according to Google Earth.

Google Map of the Quake Location places the epicenter of the earthquake offshore Haiti (Hispaniola Island). Image may be subject to copyright. Click image to enlarge.

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Posted in Cap-Haitien, earthquake, earthquake forecast, Gonave Microplate, Haiti earthquake, Les Cayes | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Haiti Quake Images

Posted by feww on January 13, 2010

Main Report:

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 out and about.

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

Sad Images of Haiti Earthquake Aftermath

People running past rubble of a collapsing building in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Photo Credit: AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

Rescue workers carrying an injured person. Credit: AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

A quake victim lies dead or severly injured. Credit: Reuters.
Image may be subject to copyright.

Haiti Quake: Eyewitness Account

Haitians react to televangelist Pat Robertson’s ‘devil pact’ remarks

For More Information Visit Haiti Earthquake Disaster Links Page!

Posted in earthquake, earthquake forecast, haiti quake photos, Port-au-Prince earthquake, Port-au-Prince Earthquake images | Tagged: , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Haiti Quake Causes Widespread Death, Destruction

Posted by feww on January 13, 2010

M7.3 EQ Causes Widespread Damage in Haiti

Powerful quake measuring up to 7.3 Mw strikes SW of PORT-AU-PRINCE, many feared dead

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

The quake struck about 15 km (10 miles) SW of PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti at an approximate  depth of 10 km on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 21:53 UTC, USGS/EHP reported.

The mainshock, as of posting, was followed by at least 3 significant aftershocks the largest of which measured up to 6.2 Mw.

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere with abysmal civic and urban infrastructure. The aftermath of this quake could well prove to be catastrophic, with thousands of people killed or injured.

PORT-AU-PRINCE has an estimated population of about 1.2 million.

Estimated Population Exposed to Earthquake Shaking:

  • Up to 240,000 people live in the “extreme” and  “violent” zones of the quake epicenter exposed to the earthquake shaking and most severe destruction.
  • A total of 1.2 million people live within the “severe” zone of the earthquake damage.

Click Image for USGS PDF file.

Earthquake Location map. Source: USGS/EHP. Enhanced by FEWW. (Click Images to enlarge).

Earthquake Details

  • Magnitude:  [FEWW Estimate: 7.3Mw – USGS/EHP routinely downgrades earthquakes by about 0.3 Mw]
  • Date-Time:
    • Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 21:53:09 UTC
    • Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 04:53:09 PM at epicenter
  • Location: 18.451°N, 72.445°W
  • Depth: 10 km (6.2 miles)
  • Distances
    • 15 km (10 miles) SW of PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti
    • 140 km (90 miles) E of Les Cayes, Haiti
    • 145 km (90 miles) WNW of Barahona, Dominican Republic
    • 1140 km (710 miles) SE of Miami, Florida
  • Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 8.3 km (5.2 miles)
  • Source:  USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • USGS/EHP Event ID: us2010rja6

Seismic Hazard Map. Click image to enlarge.

Political Map of Haiti.

Earthquake Location. Haiti Region.

Major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green. USGS/EHP

Historic Seismicity

Shakemap. Click image to enlarge.

Credit: All images on this page are sourced from USGS/EHP

Tsunami Evaluation


A tsunami measuring 12 cm crest-to-trough was recorded at Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and a tsunami less than 1 cm  crest-to-trough was recorded on a deep ocean gauge in the east-central Caribbean.  Based on these data there could have been destructive tsunami waves near the earthquake epicenter but there is not a threat to coastal areas further away.Therefore the tsunami watch issued by this center is now canceled.

For any affected areas – when no major waves have occurred for at least two hours after the estimated arrival time or damaging waves  have not occurred for at least two hours then local authorities  can assume the threat is passed. Danger to boats and coastal structures can continue for several hours due to rapid currents. As local conditions can cause a wide variation in tsunami wave action the all clear determination must be made by local authorities.

This will be the final product issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center for this event unless additional information becomes available.

Historic Earthquakes in the Region

  • Samana, Dominican Republic,  August 04,  1946 at 17:51 UTC, Magnitude 8.0
  • Aftershock,  August 08, 1946 at  13:28 UTC, Magnitude 7.6

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.

The mainshock occurred about 65 km off the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic, causing severe damage in northern Dominican Republic from Samana to Santiago and Puerto Plata. The quake left about 100 people dead and more than 20,000 people homeless.

“Almost all the people killed were drowned by a tsunami at Matanzas, near Nagua (Julia Molina). Although the waves were only about 2.5 m (8 ft) high at this location, they moved inland several km, causing such severe damage that the town was abandoned. Maximum wave heights were estimated at 4-5 m (13-16 ft) at Nagua. A small tsunami was recorded by tide gauges at San Juan, Puerto Rico; Bermuda; Daytona Beach, Florida and Atlantic City, New Jersey.” USGS said.

The 7.6 M aftershock, which occurred 4 days after the mainshock, generated a small tsunami and caused additional damage.

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For More Information Visit Haiti Earthquake Disaster Links Page!

Posted in Dominican Republic, earthquake, earthquake forecast, Les Cayes, samana | Tagged: , , , , | 14 Comments »