Saturday, January 16, 2010
Estimated Number of Deaths 50,000 people – January 15
Estimated Affected Population Approximately 3 million people – January 15
<> Most-affected towns of Petit-Goaves and Des Nippes, west of Port-au-Prince, the earthquake resulted in nearly 1,000 confirmed deaths and more than 50,000 displaced individuals. In addition, the earthquake destroyed 80 to 90 percent of buildings in Leogane town, west of Port-au-Prince, and 50 to 60 percent of buildings in Jacmel, southern Haiti.
<> Burials exceed 10,000 The OSOCC report noted that the management of corpses remains a public health concern. The GoH has buried approximately 13,000 bodies in two days; however, volume exceeds local capacity. The U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has conveyed plans to assist in collecting bodies and digging communal burial sites. GoH police and civil protection authorities continue efforts to identify bodies.
<> Favorable Survival Conditions - Favorable climate conditions and certain structural qualities have enhanced the survival chances of individuals trapped in collapsed buildings, indicating the search and rescue phase may continue beyond the standard timeframe, with remaining opportunities for live extractions, as reported by OSOCC.
<> 27 Search & Rescue Teams Active - Twenty-seven international USAR teams, comprising approximately 1,500 rescue workers and 115 rescue canines, are operating in Haiti, according to the OSOCC report. USAR teams had searched approximately 60 percent of the most-affected areas of Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas as of January 15.
<> 50,000 homeless in informal camps - Port-au-Prince residents made homeless by the earthquake currently reside in approximately 40 informal temporary camps throughout the city. Populations in temporary encampments included an estimated 50,000 people residing in the Place du Champs de Mars and another 5,000 individuals sleeping in the open near the St. Louis de Gonzague high school.
<> 14 relief camps to be established - The GoH has identified 14 sites to establish formal camps for persons displaced by the earthquake, according to the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The GoH has not yet made specific location information public; however, UNICEF reported that a limited number of sites may be outside Port-au-Prince, due to an ongoing spontaneous internal migration toward St. Marc and Artibonite and other provinces.
<> U.N. plans long term to feed 2 million - World Food Program (WFP) plans to provide one-week rations of ready-to-eat food to up to 2 million people who no longer have access to kitchens or cooking facilities. Following the distribution of ready-to-eat rations, WFP plans to begin general distributions of basic food items, moving from general food distributions toward food-for-work activities.
<> U.S. Military helicopters airlifted 27,000 Humanitarian Daily Rations (HDRs) from Guantanamo Bay to Port-au-Prince for consignment to WFP on January 16. The USAID/DART is receiving 600,000 DoD HDRs in the coming days for distribution to earthquake-affected populations through WFP.
<> 13,000 fed on 1/15 WFP distributions of food, water containers, and water purification tablets are reaching approximately 13,000 affected individuals.
How big is BIG? To get some measure of the major earthquake in Haiti, here's some data on Earthquake Magnitude and Intensity.
Earthquake Magnitude Classes - Richter Scale of Magnitude
Earthquakes are also classified in categories ranging from minor to great, depending on their magnitude.
The Richter Scale is not used to express damage. An earthquake in a densely populated area which results in many deaths and considerable damage may have the same magnitude as a shock in a remote area that does nothing more than frighten the wildlife. Large-magnitude earthquakes that occur beneath the oceans may not even be felt by humans.
|Class||Magnitude - Richter |
|Great||8 or more|
|Major||7 - 7.9 HAITI 1/12/10 |
|Strong||6 - 6.9|
|Moderate||5 - 5.9|
|Light||4 - 4.9|
|Magnitude||Earthquake Effects||Estimated Number |
Each Year - Worldwide
|2.5 or less||Usually not felt, but can be recorded by seismograph.||900,000|
|2.5 to 5.4||Often felt, but only causes minor damage.||30,000|
|5.5 to 6.0||Slight damage to buildings and other structures.||500|
|6.1 to 6.9||May cause a lot of damage in very populated areas.||100|
|7.0 to 7.9||Major earthquake. Serious damage.||20|
|8.0 or greater||Great earthquake. Can totally destroy communities near the epicenter.||One every 5|
to 10 years
The effect of an earthquake on the Earth's surface is called the intensity. The intensity scale consists of a series of certain key responses such as people awakening, movement of furniture, damage to chimneys, and finally--total destruction. Although numerous intensity scales have been developed over the last several hundred years to evaluate the effects of earthquakes, the one currently used in the United States is the Modified Mercalli (MM) Intensity Scale. It was developed in 1931 by the American seismologists Harry Wood and Frank Neumann. This scale, composed of 12 increasing levels of intensity that range from imperceptible shaking to catastrophic destruction, is designated by Roman numerals. It does not have a mathematical basis; instead it is an arbitrary ranking based on observed effects.
The following is an abbreviated description of the 12 levels of Modified Mercalli intensity.
- Not felt except by a very few under especially favorable conditions.
- Felt only by a few persons at rest, especially on upper floors of buildings. Delicately suspended objects may swing.
- Felt quite noticeably by persons indoors, especially on upper floors of buildings. Many people do not recognize it as an earthquake. Standing motor cars may rock slightly. Vibration similar to the passing of a truck. Duration estimated.
- Felt indoors by many, outdoors by few during the day. At night, some awakened. Dishes, windows, doors disturbed; walls make cracking sound. Sensation like heavy truck striking building. Standing motor cars rocked noticeably.
- Felt by nearly everyone; many awakened. some dishes, windows broken. Unstable objects overturned. Pendulum clocks may stop.
- Felt by all, many frightened. Some heavy furniture moved; a few instances of fallen plaster. Damage slight.
- Damage negligible in buildings of good design and construction; slight to moderate in well-built ordinary structures; considerable damage in poorly built or badly designed structures; some chimneys broken.
- Damage slight in specially designed structures; considerable damage in ordinary substantial buildings with partial collapse. Damage great in poorly built structures. Fall of chmineys, factory stacks, columns, monuments, walls. Heavy furniture overturned.
- Damage considerable in specially designed structures; well-designed frame structures thrown out of plumb. Damage great in substantial buildings, with partial collapse. Buildings shifted off foundations.
- Some well-built wooden structures destroyed; most masonry and frame structures destroyed with foundations. Rail bent.
- Few, if any (masonry) structures remain standing. Bridges destroyed. Rails bent greatly.
- Damage total. Lines of sight and level are distorted. Objects thrown into the air.
Sources: Michigan Tech and USGS