19 October 2010

Two fatal landslides in the earthquake affected areas of Haiti

Posted by Dave Petley

Problems continue in the earthquake affected areas of Haiti, where over 2 million people remain essentially homeless 10 months after the devastating earthquake.  Reporters Live are carrying a story that heavy rainfall in the last 48 hours has triggered two, rather different fatality-inducing landslides:

1. A collapse in a sand quarry
Illegal quarrying of sand to be used for rebuilding is turning into a major, if unsurprising, problem in the hills around Port-au-Prince.  The reports suggest that such a quarry to the west of Port-au-Prince collapsed in the heavy rainfall, killing eight people including two children. 

2. Landslide in Carrefour
Meanwhile the article also notes that a second landslide, this time in Carrefour, killed four people and left a further three missing.  The report also suggests that “residents likewise said that there had been unreported mudslides that occurred in the last few weeks”.

So far this year, Haiti has not been hit by a major hurricane, although we are not quite out of the woods yet.  Unfortunately, the extreme vulnerability to heavy rainfall of both the landscape and the population is going to be a long lasting legacy of the earthquake.