In Haiti, disaster risks linger as another earthquake anniversary passes

Author

Dumas Maçon

Jessica Alexander

Source(s)
The New Humanitarian

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Experts say lives may have been saved had Haiti been able to apply more lessons from the 2010 earthquake that killed between 100,000 and 300,000 people, most of them in the capital, Port-au-Prince – enforcing building codes to make housing safer, involving the local population more in response decision-making, and ensuring enough suitable shelter.

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Due to funding shortfalls, only one of the country’s seven earthquake monitoring stations is fully operational, Prépetit told The New Humanitarian. “Our budget is insufficient,” he said. “This means that our monitoring network does not have its own budget. We are having difficulty paying for bandwidth, personnel, and fuel.” 

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Haiti has made some progress in preparing for floods and storms since 2004 – one of the deadliest years for storm disasters, with torrential floods that killed some 1,700 people, Hurricane Ivan that caused severe damage to the southern peninsula, and Hurricane Jeanne that killed an estimated 3,000 people and displaced 300,000.

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Although some $14 billion in international aid flowed into Haiti after the 2010 earthquake – $9 million worth of earthquake-related studies were also approved by the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission – only a small fraction of it has been spent on preventative measures. 

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