Haiti’s Calamity, Ten Years Ago Today

A few hours from now will mark the moment Haiti, 10 years ago, met with one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history – 4:53PM EST to be exact (1:53PM PST). This tragic anniversary is certainly a moment to pause and reflect.

For those interested in getting a perspective on the developments of the last ten years, there is none better than Jonathan M. Katz. Jonathan wrote the acclaimed book The Big Truck That Went By. Jonathan was in Port au Prince when the quake occurred, and the book chronicles his experiences. Today, he wrote:

I attempted to share my perspective, albeit largely from afar, in the years following Haiti’s quake in several forums, including Dr. Aldy Caster’s Haitian Resource Development Foundation’s (HRDF) website. Much of my perspective can also be found in my writings on Haiti on this site.

Today, nearby Puerto Rico is reeling from a series of major quakes. The last one, yesterday, registered 5.9. Last Tuesday’s quake registered the highest thus far at 6.4. Hopefully they will stop soon. Although not to be compared with the devastation of Haiti’s 7.0 earthquake, there has been extensive destruction to many buildings on the south coast of the island.

I am now in the process of sharing information on HabiTek’s resilient construction technology in the Caribbean and western Atlantic, largely because of the major hurricanes that have occurred in the last few years. Several structural engineers have informed me that in designing for high winds, as HabiTek has been, loads caused by earthquakes are structurally covered as well.

I believe more than ever that these island nations can be rebuilt with structures that can withstand these natural forces, and do it affordably. HabiTek hopes to play a role in that rebuilding process.