- Title: A decade from Haiti's disastrous earthquake
- Date: 30th December 2019
- Summary: PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI (FILE - JANUARY 12, 2010) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING IN FRONT OF PORT-AU-PRINCE CATHEDRAL
- Embargoed: 13th January 2020 15:42
- Keywords: Haiti Port-Au-Prince anniversary earthquake
- Location: PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI
- City: PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI
- Country: Haiti
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,Earthquakes/Volcanoes/Tsunami
- Reuters ID: LVA005BC62FD3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Almost ten years since a 7.0 magnitude earthquake decimated the impoverished Caribbean country of Haiti, destroying much of the capital Port-au-Prince, and killing hundreds of thousands, Haiti has yet to recover.
According to some estimates, the earthquake, which struck on January 12, 2010, with an epicentre 25 kilometres (16 miles) west of Port-au-Prince, was the fifth most serious in history, reportedly killing more than 200,000 people, and injuring around 300,000.
The natural disaster also sparked a massive displacement crisis, leaving almost 1.5 million people homeless in what was already the poorest country in the Americas.
Buildings throughout Port-au-Prince crumbled and collapsed as the quake struck on a Tuesday evening, burying thousands of residents.
Survivors ran screaming into dusty, debris-strewn streets, frantically searching for family members.
Although the epicenter was in Leogane, some 25 km (16 miles) from Port-au-Prince, it ravaged much of the capital, including landmarks such as the presidential palace, the National Cathedral, the UN mission's headquarters and one of the city's main hotels.
The earthquake spurred an overwhelming international aid response but ten years later, little progress is visible.
Hundreds of thousands remain displaced, living in sprawling tent camps, exposed to the elements and violence.
A study of the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti revealed that U.N. peacekeepers who were sent to the Caribbean country after the earthquake abused more than two thousand women and children in Haiti and left hundreds of children. In the aftermath of the controversy, the U.N. troops withdrew in 2017, after 15 years of serving in Haiti, but just in the past few weeks, Haitian Non-Governmental Organizations have renewed calls for justice for the victims who were sexually abused and impregnated.
Despite the infusion of aid, Haiti remains the poorest country in the Americas, where nearly 60 percent of the population survives on less than $2.40 a day.
In September of this year, demonstrators accusing the government of corruption demanded the resignation of President Jovenel Moise.
Haiti's weak economy went into recession in 2019, with a 1.2% drop in GDP, according to the International Monetary Fund, after months of paralysis of economic activity due to the political crisis.
(Production: Liamar Ramos)
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