Haiti Earthquake 2010—10 years later

4min 22s Novice

Why was this earthquake so devastating and deadly?

The human impact of the 2010 Haiti earthquake was horrendous, with estimates of at least 100,000 and likely up to 200,000 fatalities and over one million people left homeless. Haiti’s magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck a country where few buildings were built to engineering standards and were hopelessly fragile in the grip of such a strong quake.

This animation discusses the tectonic setting, the history of M 7 earthquakes in Haiti, as well as the aftermath of the earthquake.

For a slide presentation made in 2010 following the earthquake, see: https://www.iris.edu/hq/retm/event/918

CLOSED CAPTIONING: A .srt file is included with the download. Use an appropriate media player to utilize captioning.


  • Haiti is located on Hispaniola, an island in the Caribbean archipelago known as the Greater Antilles.
  • Hispaniola is the most populous island in the West Indies
  • Hispaniola is caught in the crunch between the North American and Caribbean Plates
  • Haiti had destructive earthquakes in the 1700s and 1800s
  • Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere
  • Poor quality construction and building materials led to the devastation in 2010

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