Earthquakes are horrifying, really. But, of all natural disasters, it’s really the only one that has become deadly for us from our own inventions. By that I mean that if we were all still living in tents, there would be no danger from earthquakes; it only became dangerous because of our permanent settlements which can now fall on top of us. Also gas lines breaking causing explosions aren’t very safe either. My point is, unless you’re standing at a point where the ground actually cracks open and you fall in, or you’re near the base of a mountain and rocks come tumbling down on you, or finally a tsunami is created and drowns you, earthquakes aren’t all that dangerous. What’s dangerous are the weak structures we surround ourselves with and live inside of.
That being said, there really couldn’t have been a worse place for a natural disaster to have occured than Haiti. It’s obviously one of the poorest countries on earth, with almost no natural resources remaining, it has been deforested, stripped mined and soils have been depleted from plantation farming. It also has some of the highest population densities on earth, especially Port-au-Prince. The buildings there were made with very low grade concrete, crumbly and very weak. It’s really just the last place that could deal with a disaster. Their already inadequate infrastructure is now all but destroyed. Their weak government is basically obsolete. America is basically going to have institute martial law there, we will have to occupy that country for some time I imagine. It is sad. It is no coincidence though that the worst disasters happen to areas that are already so badly off. Obviously if they were better off there’d be better building codes, better contingency plans to deal with emergency, and of course just more resources to cope with that incredible strain. This is a place that already needed incredible amounts of aid and international attention, maybe they’ll finally get the global cooperation they need to get themselves out of their crippling poverty. Either way it will literally be decades for them to recover from this, it was absolute desolation to begin with, this is just extreme insult to extreme injury. God bless.