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Haiti Earthquake: Crisis and Response
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The largest earthquake ever recorded in Haiti devastated parts of the country, including the capital, on January 12, 2010. The quake, centered about 15 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, had a magnitude of 7.0. A series of strong aftershocks have followed. Experts estimate the earthquake caused 8 to 14 billion in damage. Approximately 3 million people, roughly one third of the overall population, have been affected by the earthquake with more than 1.2 million displaced. The government of Haiti is reporting an estimated 230,000 deaths and 300,000 injured. In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, President Rene Pr val described conditions in his country as unimaginable, and appealed for international assistance. As the humanitarian relief operation continues, the government is struggling to restore the institutions needed for it to function, ensure political stability, and address long-term reconstruction and development planning. Prior to the earthquake, the international community was providing extensive development and humanitarian assistance to Haiti. With that assistance, the Haitian government had made significant progress in recent years in many areas of its development strategy. The destruction of Haitis nascent infrastructure and other extensive damage caused by the earthquake will set back Haitis development significantly. A post-disaster needs assessment is being conducted, and Haitis long-term development plans are now being revised.
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