The January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti was a tragic reminder of
geological reality: the great earthquake threat to which the country
is exposed. This threat is as old as the active fault lines that cut
through Haiti, and will remain present as long as these fault lines
continue to exist - millions of years. This part of the risk equation,
driven by the slow but inexorable drift of tectonic plates, is
The earthquake cost 250,000 lives and an estimated $7.8 billion. That is 120% of the country's GDP. Population exposure, poor building practices, and limited preparation played a key role in the tragedy. Much remains to be done, in the short, medium, and long-term, to better assess the earthquake hazard level in Haiti (and Hispaniola as a whole) and to help Haiti engage on a sustainable path to earthquake safety.
Rebuilding for Resilience: How Science and Engineering Can Inform Haiti's ReconstructionRebuilding for Resilience: How Science and Engineering Can Inform Haiti's Reconstruction, March 22-24, Miami.