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Haiti Earthquake Slide Show

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Haiti Earthquake

• USGS: USGS called it the strongest earthquake since 1770 in what is now Haiti

• The quake struck on January 12, 2010 at 4:53 p.m.

• The 7.0 magnitude quake's epicenter hit just 10 miles west of Porte-au-Prince and its 2 million inhabitants

• 3 million people in need of emergency aid after major earthquake

• The major quake sent 33 aftershocks ranging in magnitude from 4.2 to 5.9

• The Red Cross dispatched a relief team from Geneva and the UN's World Food Program is flying in two planes with emergency food aid.

• The Inter-American Development Bank said it was immediately approving a $200,000 grant for emergency aid.

• Some 9,000 peacekeepers have been in Haiti since 2004, including 1,266 Brazilians.

• Haiti has no real construction standards.

• November 2008: Following the collapse of a school in Petionville, the mayor of Port-au-Prince estimated about 60% of buildings were shoddily built and unsafe in normal circumstances.

History of Haiti

• Discovered by Columbus in 1492.

• Haiti won its independence from France on January 1, 1804.

• Population of nearly 10 million people.

• Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

• 80% of the population in Haiti is living under the poverty line.

• Most Haitians live on less than $2 a day.

• More than two-thirds of the labor force do not have formal jobs.

• Haiti is slightly smaller than Maryland.

• The Haiti telecommunications infrastructure is among the least developed in Latin America and the Caribbean.

• Haiti has 14 airports; 4 have paved runways.

• Haiti’s capital is Porte-au-Prince, a coastal city with about 2 million inhabitants.

• After decades of dictatorship, former Roman Catholic priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide became Haiti's first freely elected leader in 1990.

• Aristide was ousted by a military coup in 1991 but reinstated with U.S. backing.

• Aristide was forced out of the country and into exile in 2004 by a rebellion of gangs and former soldiers.

• Democratic rule was restored in 2006.

• Haiti has been led by President Rene Preval since May 2006 when the country returned to constitutional rule.

• Haiti is one of the original members of the United Nations and several of its specialized and related agencies, as well as a member of the Organization of American States (OAS).

• In July 2004, $1.085 billion was pledged through 2006 at the World Bank Donors' Conference. Donors included the U.S., Canada, the EU, France, Sweden, Spain, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Greece, Norway, Mexico, and Ireland


Capital: Port-au-Prince

Time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Land: 27,560 sq km (slightly smaller than Maryland)

Population: 9,035,536 (U.S. 307,212,123)

Population Growth rate: 1.84% (U.S. 0.98%)

Urban population: 47% of total population (U.S. 82% of population)

Ethnic groups: black 95%, mulatto and white 5%

Life expectancy at birth: 60.78 years (U.S. 78.11)

HIV/AIDS - deaths: 7,200 (2007 est.)

Religions: Roman Catholic 80%, Protestant 16% (Baptist 10%, Pentecostal 4%, Adventist 1%, other 1%), none 1%, other 3% - note: roughly half of the population practices voodoo

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 52.9%

Independence: January 1, 1804 (from France)

Chief of state: President Rene PREVAL (since 14 May 2006)

Head of government: Prime Minister Jean-Max BELLERIVE (since 7 November 2009)

U.S. Ambassador to Haiti: Ambassador Kenneth H. MERTEN

Haitian Ambassador to U.S.: Ambassador Raymond Joseph

GDP: $11.53 billion – 154th in the World (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,300 – 203rd in the world (2008 est.)

Labor force: 3.643 million (2008 est)

Population below poverty line: 80%


• GDP (purchasing power parity): $11.53 billion (2008 est.)

• GDP (official exchange rate): $6.943 billion (2008 est.)

• GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,300 (2008 est.)

• GDP - composition by sector: Agriculture: 28%, Industry: 20%, Services: 52% (2004 est.)

• Labor force: 3.643 million

• Labor force - by occupation: Agriculture: 66%

• Population below poverty line: 80% and 54% in abject poverty.

• Haiti now ranks 146th of 177 countries in the UN's Human Development Index.

• Haiti has no regular military forces. The Army, Navy, and Air Force have been demobilized.

• Haiti has a small Coast Guard.

• The Haitian National Police has nearly 10,000 officers.

• The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti consists of a military component of up to 6,940 troops and a police component of up to 2,211 police.

As of November 30, 2009 (latest data), the UN peacekeeping staff in Haiti consisted of:

- 9,065 total uniformed personnel (7,031 troops and 2,034 police)

- 488 international civilian personnel

- 1,212 local civilian staff

- 214 United Nations Volunteers

• Countries that contributed military personnel include: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Jordan, Nepal, Paraguay, Peru, Phillipines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, United States and Uruguay.

• Countries that contributed police personnel include: Argentina, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Columbia, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Guinea, India, Jamaica, Jordan, Madagascar, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Senegal, Serbia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Togo, Turkey, United States, Uruguay and Yemen.

Other Haitian Natural Disasters

• August and September 2008: Four separate hurricanes or tropical storms - Tropical Storm Fay and hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike - in the space of 30 days killing a total of 793 people and leaving more than 300 others missing, according to government figures. About 60 per cent of the country's harvest was destroyed and entire cities were rendered desolate and uninhabitable.

• September 2004: Hurricane Jeanne deluged the tiny Caribbean country. Resulting flooding and landslides killed up to 2,500 people and displacing thousands more.

• September 1998: Hurricane George killed more than 400 people while destroying 80 per cent of all the crops in the country.

• 1994: Hurricane Gordon killed over 1000 Haitians.

• 1963: Hurricane Flora killed over 8000 people, making it the 6th most deadly hurricane ever.

• 1954: Hurricane Hazel killed more than 100 people and destroyed several towns. The storm also wiped out 40 per cent of the coffee trees and 50 per cent of the cacao crop.

• November 1946: The largest recorded earthquake in modern times on the island of Hispaniola was an 8.1-magnitude temblor that produced a tsunami and killed 1,790 people. Centered in the Dominican Republic, it extended into Haiti.

• 1935: An unnamed storm killed more than 2000 people.

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