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Haiti, Dominican Republic May Be Entering Big Earthquake Period

February 2, 2012 Comments off

insurancejournal.com

Haiti and the neighboring Dominican Republic could be in for a period of periodic powerful earthquakes, according to a recent scientific study.

The study says Haiti’s 7.0-magnitude earthquake two years ago is likely to be the first of several quakes of a similarly powerful magnitude.

The Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake caused widespread damage in the Haitian capital and surrounding cities. Officials say the disaster killed 314,000 people and toppled thousands of crudely built homes.

“The 2010 Haiti earthquake may mark the beginning of a new cycle of large earthquakes on the Enriquillo fault system after 240 years of seismic quiescence,” lead author William Bakun of the U.S. Geological Survey wrote. “The entire Enriquillo fault system appears to be Read more…

Haiti’s cholera epidemic twice as bad as predicted, say researchers

March 16, 2011 Comments off

globalpost.com

Haiti cholera 2011 3 16 

A woman sits with her sick child at an International Red Cross field hospital for the treatment of cholera in Carrefour, Haiti, on Dec. 14, 2010. (Thony Belizaire/AFP/Getty Images)

Haiti’s cholera epidemic may be twice as bad as health officials originally thought.

The number of people affected with the disease may be nearly 800,000, double what U.N. officials predicted, BBC reports.

The bacterial disease causes severe diarrhea and vomiting and can be life-threatening if left untreated as it can lead to severe dehydration. It is spread from person-to-person through contaminated food and water.

About 150,000 people contracted cholera and 3,500 died in Haiti between October and December 2010. U.N. health officials expected the number of infected at this time to be about 400,000. But researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, say the number is likely to be double that.

The new calculations take into consideration factors such as Read more…

Haiti: A year after the quake, waiting to rebuild

January 12, 2011 Comments off

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – The man’s body lay face down, his white dress shirt shining like wax in the sun, as he was unearthed in the ruins of a Port-au-Prince restaurant a year after the earthquake.

The bodies still being found in the rubble are a sign of how far Haiti must go to recover from a disaster that left the capital in ruins and is estimated to have killed more than 230,000 people.

In the days after the Jan. 12, 2010 disaster, volunteers and hundreds of aid groups flocked in with food, water and first aid that saved countless lives. But the effort to rebuild has been dwarfed by the extent of the need and a lack of leadership — both in Haiti and internationally.

President Rene Preval did not speak publicly for days after the quake, and many observers have criticized him for not spearheading a coherent reconstruction effort, or making the hard policy decisions needed to rebuild.

Still, advocacy groups also blame the Haitian government’s weakness on an international community that is not keeping its pledge of support.

“The international community has not done enough to support good governance and effective leadership in Haiti,” the aid group Oxfam said in a recent report. “Aid agencies continue to bypass local and national authorities in the delivery of assistance, while donors are not coordinating their actions or adequately consulting the Haitian people.”

Street markets were soon up and running after the quake and Port-au-Prince’s traffic is worse than ever. On Tuesday, Preval, his wife and other officials lay flowers at symbolic black crosses marking a mass grave outside the capital where hundreds of thousands of earthquake victims are buried.

But from the barren hillside, the destruction is clearly visible. The slogan “build back better,” touted by former President Bill Clinton and others, remains an unfulfilled promise.

Less than 5 percent of the debris has been cleared, leaving enough to fill dump trucks parked bumper to bumper halfway around the world. In the broken building where the dead man was discovered last week, workers hired to clear rubble by hand found two other people’s Read more…

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