Damage to infrastructure in the 2010 Haiti earthquake
Damage to infrastructure in the 2010 Haiti earthquake was extensive and affected areas included Port-au-Prince, Petit-Goâve, Léogâne, Jacmel and other settlements in southwestern Haiti. In February Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive estimated that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings had collapsed or were severely damaged. The deputy mayor of Léogâne, which was at the epicenter of the earthquake, reported that 90% percent of the buildings in that city had been destroyed and Léogâne had "to be totally rebuilt." Many notable landmark buildings were significantly damaged or destroyed, including the Presidential Palace, the National Assembly building, the Port-au-Prince Cathedral, and the main jail. The Ministry of Education estimated that half the nation's 15,000 primary schools and 1,500 secondary schools were severely damaged, cracked or destroyed. In addition, the three main universities in Port-au-Prince were also severely damaged. Other affected infrastructure included telephone networks, radio station, factories, and museums. Poor infrastructure before the earthquake only made the aftermath worse. It would take half a day to make a trip of a few miles. The roads would also crisscross haphazardly due to disorganized construction.
Amongst the widespread devastation and damage throughout Port-au-Prince and elsewhere, vital infrastructure necessary to respond to the disaster was severely damaged or destroyed. This included all hospitals in the northwest; air, sea, and land transport facilities; and communication systems. Due to this infrastructure damage and loss of organizational structures, a spokeswoman from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs called it the worst disaster the UN had ever confronted.
The quake affected the three Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) medical facilities around Port-au-Prince, causing one to collapse completely. A hospital in Pétion-Ville, a wealthy suburb of Port-au-Prince, also collapsed, as did the St. Michel District Hospital in the southern town of Jacmel, which was the largest referral hospital in south-east Haiti.
The quake seriously damaged the control tower at Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport and the Port-au-Prince seaport. Reported damage to the seaport included the collapse of cranes and containers into the water, structural damage to the pier, waterfront quay areas collapsing into the water with crevassing and slumping of level waterfront ship-unloading dock-work areas, container cranes leaning because of ground subsidence, and an oil spill, rendering the harbor unusable for immediate rescue operations. The Gonaïves seaport, in the northern part of Haiti, remained operational.
The main road linking Port-au-Prince with Jacmel remained blocked ten days after the earthquake, hampering delivery of aid to Jacmel. When asked why the road had not been opened, Hazem el-Zein, head of the south-east division of the UN World Food Programme said that "We ask the same questions to the people in charge...They promise rapid response. To be honest, I don't know why it hasn't been done. I can only think that their priority must be somewhere else."
There was considerable damage to communications infrastructure. The public telephone system was not available, and Haiti's largest cellular telephone provider, Digicel, suffered damage to its network. It was operational by 14 January, but the volume of calls overwhelmed its capacity and most calls could not be connected. Comcel Haiti's facilities were not severely damaged, but its mobile phone service was temporarily shut down on 12 January. By 14 January the company had re-established 70% of its services. Service on the spur connection to the BDSNi cable system which provided Haiti with its only direct fibre-optic connectivity to the outside world, was disrupted, with the terminal in Port-au-Prince being completely destroyed.
According to Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), most of the radio stations in the earthquake struck region went off the air after the earthquake and only 20 out of 50 stations in Port-au-Prince were back on air a week after the earthquake. The stations that were completely destroyed include Radio TV Ginen, Radio Soleil, Radio Ibo and Tropic FM. RSF also reported that 12 radio stations in the southwestern town of Petit-Goâve and five of Léogâne's nine stations were badly damaged. The Committee to Protect Journalists reported that several other stations, including Melodie FM, Radio Caraïbes, Signal FM, and Radio Métropole, continued to operate. The UN mission's station, Radio Minustah, was disabled by the quake, but returned to the air on 18 January. The Agence France-Presse office was in ruins, but within days of the earthquake the agency resumed operations from new premises. The offices of the capital's two leading newspapers, Le Nouvelliste and Le Matin, were not severely damaged, but for more than a week after the earthquake they were unable to print.
The buildings of the finance ministry, the ministry of education, the ministry of public works, the ministry of communication and culture, the Palais de Justice (Supreme Court building), the Superior Normal School, the National School of Administration, the Institut Aimé Césaire, the Palais Législatif (National Assembly building) and Port-au-Prince Cathedral were damaged to varying degrees. The National Palace (Presidential mansion) was severely damaged, though President René Préval and his wife Elisabeth Delatour Préval, who were about to enter their house when it "just fell", escaped injury. The Prison Civile de Port-au-Prince was also destroyed, allowing 4,000 inmates to escape into the streets. As of 19 January only 12 had been rearrested. Some of the escaped convicts were reported to have stolen official uniforms, vehicles, and weapons, after starting fires and killing four guards during the breakout.
The headquarters of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) at Christopher Hotel  and offices of the World Bank were destroyed. The building housing the offices of Citibank in Port-au-Prince collapsed, killing five employees. Up to 200 guests at the collapsed Hôtel Montana in Port-au-Prince are presumed dead. Despite the official search being called off, as of 24 January teams were continuing to look for survivors at the Montana.
Most of Port-au-Prince's municipal government buildings were destroyed or heavily damaged in the earthquake, including the City Hall, which was described by The Washington Post as, "a skeletal hulk of concrete and stucco, sagging grotesquely to the left." City officials including Mayor Jean Yves Jason were left without facilities in which to conduct official business or coordinate recovery efforts. Port-au-Prince had no municipal petrol reserves and few city officials had working mobile phones before the earthquake, complicating communications and transportation.
Minister of Education Joel Jean-Pierre stated that the education system had "totally collapsed". About half the nation's 15,000 primary schools and 1,500 secondary schools were affected by the earthquake and the three main universities in Port-au-Prince were also "almost totally destroyed." The earthquake also destroyed a nursing school in the capital, one of three such schools in the country, and severely damaged the country’s primary midwifery school that provided essential training necessary to reduce Haiti’s maternal mortality rate, which is one of the highest in the world. Various Catholic religious institutes reported the destruction and damage of churches, schools and offices.
The clothing industry, which accounts for two-thirds of Haiti's exports, reported structural damage at manufacturing facilities in Haiti. U.S.-based Hanesbrands Inc. reported that three of its four factories had been affected by the quake, with one facility substantially damaged. The Canadian clothing company Gildan Activewear reported that one of the three textile factories that produce its products had been severely damaged. The Palm Apparel factory complex in Port-au-Prince reported that 500 of its 1800 employees were killed when one of its buildings collapsed.
The Haitian art world also suffered great losses. Museums and art galleries were extensively damaged , among them Port-au-Prince's main art museum, Centre d'Art, where many art works were destroyed. The collection at College Saint Pierre also was devastated, as was the collection of priceless murals in the Holy Trinity Cathedral. Some private art galleries were also severely damaged, including the Monnin Gallery in Pétion-Ville, and the Nader Art Gallery and Musée Nader in Port-au-Prince. Composed of the personal collection of Georges Nader Sr., the Nader collection was worth an estimated US$30-US$100 million. Shortly after the earthquake struck, UNESCO assigned special envoy Bernard Hadjadj to evaluate damage to artwork.
Toussaint Louverture International Airport
As the hypocenter or focus of the 2010 Haiti earthquake on January 12 was shallow (6 miles) and very near, Toussaint Louverture International Airport was damaged. The runway, the taxiways and the apron of the airport remained operational, but radio communications were not possible because the control tower was extensively damaged. The airport lighting system was also shut down due to power outages. Nevertheless, the airport could be accessed with UNICOM procedures after the quake.
On the morning of January 13, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Forward arrived and began running air-traffic control from Port-au-Prince Bay. UN Peacekeeping forces had also moved quickly to secure the airport, thus allowing international rescue and aid forces to start their work. Later in the day, United States Air Force Special Tactics personnel landed at the airport and assumed air traffic control (ATC) duties and much of the operation of the airport. Their ATC set-up consisted of a folding table near the runway and handheld transceivers, and a motorcycle to guide aircraft to parking zones.
As of January 14, dozens of cargo planes were landing and taking off, but regular scheduled commercial air service ceased. Meantime, some inbound travelers were reaching Haiti by flying to neighboring Dominican Republic, primarily Las Américas International Airport in Santo Domingo, and then traveling overland.
On January 15, heavy traffic to the airport forced the Federal Aviation Administration's Air Traffic Control System Command Center to issue a ground stop for all aircraft trying to leave the U.S. for Haitian airspace due to limited space and lack of fuel at Haiti airport. Problems had been compounded by pilots inbound to the airport canceling instrument flight rules operation and proceeding on visual flight rules. That day the United States was formally granted temporary control of the airport per a memorandum of understanding signed by the Haitian Prime Minister. The airport has apparently been operating without radar, although the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson arrived the morning of the 15th and has advanced aircraft tracking capabilities.
By the morning of January 18, less than five days after arriving, a reported 819 aircraft had landed under the direction of the USAF team. That day, 180 flights were handled at the airport according to Lieutenant General Ken Keen, commander of the U.S. joint task force assisting in Haiti.
On February 19, 2010, partial commercial operation returned to the airport.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 2010 Haiti earthquake damage.|
- Clarens Renois (5 February 2010). "Haitians angry over slow aid". The Age. Melbourne. Archived from the original on 7 February 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
- Karen Allen (28 January 2010). "Rebuilding Haiti from rubble and dust". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
- "INTERVIEW-Haitian education system 'totally collapsed'". ReliefWeb. Reuters. 18 January 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
- Haiti quake 'worst disaster ever', The Bangkok Post (January 16, 2010). Retrieved on January 18, 2010.
- McQuigge, Michelle (13 January 2010). "Aid workers face frightening challenges in wake of massive quake in Haiti". metronews. Metro International. Retrieved 14 January 2010.
- "Only one hospital open in Haiti's quake-hit capital". News.com.au. 14 January 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2010.
- "Haitian Earthquake Causes Hospital Collapse". The New York Times. 12 January 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2010.[dead link]
- Fraser, Christian (2010-01-20). "Haitians show fortitude in face of disaster". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-01-24.
- "UN PROVIDES GENERATOR FOR A HOSPITAL IN HAITI" (PDF). United Nations. Retrieved 2010-01-24.
- Lipton, Eric (2010-01-13). "Devastation, Seen From a Ship". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-18.
- Brannigan, Martha (15 January 2010). "Haiti seaport damage complicates relief efforts". The Miami Herald. Miami. Retrieved 15 January 2010.
- Katz, Jonathan M. (12 January 2010). "Many casualties expected after big quake in Haiti". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on January 17, 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
- Statement From Digicel on Haiti Earthquake Archived 2010-08-20 at the Wayback Machine., IndiaPRwire (January 14, 2010). Retrieved on January 18, 2010.
- Countless emergency calls from Haiti earthquake victims simply not getting through, The Associated Press (January 14, 2010). Retrieved on January 18, 2010.
- Heim, Kristi (19 January 2010). "Update from Trilogy: five employees killed in Haiti". The Seattle Times.
- "Update: Earthquake in Haiti" (PDF). Trilogy International Partners. 13 January 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2010-01-22.
- "Update: Earthquake in Haiti" (PDF). Trilogy International Partners. 14 January 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2010-01-22.
- Rhoads, Christopher (2010-01-15). "Earthquake Sets Back Haiti's Efforts to Improve Telecommunications - WSJ.com". Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 2010-01-22.
- T. Carter Ross (25 January 2010). "Radio Extends Efforts to Help Haiti". Radio World. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
- "Radio stations getting back on the air in Port-au-Prince". ReliefWeb. Reporters sans Frontières. 20 January 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
- Carlos Lauría. "Haitian journalist describes scenes of death and destruction". Committee to Protect Journalists. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
- "TV5MONDE: actualites:". Tv5.org. 30 September 2008. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
- "Haitian palace collapses". The Straits Times. 13 January 2010.
- "Haïti: les rescapés évacués à la Martinique décrivent le "chaos"". Nouvel OBS. 14 January 2010. Archived from the original on 23 April 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2010.
- "Earthquake Rocks Haiti". FOXNews.com. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
- "Info – Séisme à Haïti: les autorités s'attendent au pire". tsr.ch. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
- Washington Post: Haiti's president narrowly missed injury in quake
- Lacey, Marc (2010-01-19). "U.S. Troops Patrol Haiti, Filling a Void". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-19.
- Sherwell, Philip; Patrick Sawer (16 January 2010). "Haiti earthquake: looting and gun-fights break out". London: Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
- Latest developments in ongoing Haiti earthquake crisis, The Miami Herald (January 19, 2010). Retrieved on January 19, 2010.
- Pitts, Byron (January 19, 2010). Escaped Prisoners Pose Security Threat, CBS News. Retrieved on January 20, 2010
- "Briefing by Martin Nesirky, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, and Jean Victor Nkolo, Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly". United Nations. 13 January 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
- Wroughton, Lesley (12 January 2010). "World Bank to assess Haiti damage, plan rebuilding". Reuters.
- "Citigroup resumes operations in Haiti". IB Times. 2010-01-24. Archived from the original on 2012-02-20. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
- "Florida College Scrambles for Information on Students in Haiti Fox News Wednesday, 13 January 2010". Foxnews.com. 14 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
- "Searchers refuse to give up, despite end to official rescue operation in Haiti". Montreal Gazette. 2010-01-24. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
- Roig-Franzia, Manuel (2010-01-20). "Shattered city government in quake-ravaged Port-au-Prince in need of help itself". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-01-20.
- "Midwifery and Nursing School Destroyed by Haiti Earthquake". ReliefWeb. United Nations Population Fund. 22 January 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
- "47 Religious Counted Among Haitian Casualties". Catholic.net. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
- Faries, Bill; William Varner (2010-01-10). "Earthquake in Haiti May Have Killed 'Over 100,000'". Bloomberg News. Bloomberg. Retrieved 2010-01-20.
- "Apparel Makers Assess Damages in Haiti and Organize Donations". ApparelNews.net. 15 January 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2010.
- Kathie Klarreich (27 February 2010). "Haiti earthquake diary: Factories are 'in limbo'". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 29 January 2010.
- Tracy Wilkinson (24 January 2010). "A cultural agony in a nation where art is life". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- Pooja Bhatia (25 January 2010). "Art Trove Is Among Nation's Losses". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
- "Dominican Republic feels earthquake in Haiti". Retrieved 13 January 2010.
- Eric Lipton (January 13, 2010). "Devastation, Seen From a Ship". New York Times. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 14, 2010. Retrieved January 13, 2010.
- Fox 10, WALA TV/Associated Press, Mobile, AL, Jan 14, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 3, 2010. Retrieved January 21, 2010.
- Phillips, Michael M. (January 19, 2010). "U.S. Team Directs Traffic in Crowded Skies". The Wall Street JOurnal. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
- "Airlines organizing Haiti earthquake aid". CNN. January 14, 2010. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
- Quinn, Andrew (2010-01-15). "Haiti gives U.S. control of airport". Reuters. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
- Kris Alingod (January 20, 2010). "28 Americans Confirmed Dead in Haiti". All Headline News. Archived from the original on 2010-01-23. Retrieved January 20, 2010.
- Washington Post, "US to help Haiti resume normal airport operations", Associated Press, 30 January 2010 (accessed 31 January 2010)
- Winnipeg Free Press, "Canada earns its wings", Dan Lett, 30 January 2010 (accessed 31 January 2010)
- AFP, "Haitians return to find family as commercial flights restart", M.J. Smith, 20 February 2010 (accessed 23 February 2010)