2010 EARTHQUAKES IN HAITI AND CHILE. A SYSTEMIC COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

Francisco J Aceves, Joel F Audefroy

Abstract


Why did a relatively mild earthquake of 7.0 degrees on the Richter scale in Haiti cause more than 200,000 dead?  And why did a very intense 8.8 Richter earthquake in Chile cause less than one thousand dead? In this paper, the socio-economic, demographic, legal, cultural, and natural causes of these differences are analyzed from a systemic standpoint. The objective of this paper is to contribute to the creation of a set of standards for Latin-American cities, to be better prepared in confronting the effects of disastrous events such as earthquakes.

Some of the preliminary conclusions of this paper are that the lack of high construction standards in Haiti, together with poverty and uncontrolled demographic growth in Port au Prince made the city very vulnerable. Chilean cities, on the other hand, with a better socio-economic and cultural level, and very strict construction standards, survived the earthquake and its sequels better than in Haiti.


Keywords


Earthquakes, Haiti, Chile, Systemic Analysis, Disaster Prevention

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