January 18th, 2010
09:35 AM ET

It could take 10 years to rebuild Haiti

Anne Kiremidjian
Special To CNN

The energy generated by the January 13 earthquake in Haiti was larger than that of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

While many people were surprised to learn that Haiti is vulnerable to earthquakes because the last major earthquakes there were in 1761, 1770 and 1860, experts should have been taken that quiet period as an ominous sign.

A catastrophic amount of energy had been building up all that time, culminating in a 7.0 quake and many aftershocks that ruptured a segment of the fault 40 kilometers (24.85 miles) long. It affected an area roughly 100 km (62.14 miles) to the north and south, well beyond the capital of Port-au-Prince.

It may take a decade for Haiti to rebuild. This time, let's make sure the construction accounts for our acute awareness that earthquakes can happen in the Caribbean.

The question in many people's minds is why has the destruction been so catastrophic?

There are several reasons for the widespread damage to buildings, bridges and other infrastructure.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Haiti • Haiti Earthquake
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Marie Durand

    I would like to thank Anderson Cooper for the Superb work that he is doing in haiti. He has proven himself to be CNN's ultimate reporter and also an idol to the Haitian community. Anderson went above and beyond to bring the grim reality of haiti to our livingroom . From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of the Haitian community Thank You for a job well well done.

    Marie Durand

    January 18, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  2. Jeanette

    Look how slow the process has been in America with Katrina. We are still rebuilding that mess and we are in the US. Where was all the money for the rebuilding of New Orleans.

    We could have helped the people in the US more than we did, although I'm certainly glad we are helping the Haitian people as much as we can.

    January 18, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    It will take less than a year to rebuild the Haitian Presidential Palace and homes for the people of Haiti will never be rebuilt. Haiti's government is and always will be corrupt and the corrupt can't wait to get their hands on handouts which will never help the people of Haiti.

    January 18, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  4. Theresa

    I can't thank you enough for your constant coverage. I lived in Haiti for 5 years and have been glued to CNN and am GRATEFUL for your commitment there. It has brought me much comfort watching your reports so I can feel connected to my friends who still live there, and to the country I love.

    January 18, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
  5. Cherisa

    Hope rebuilding the country is done smart, when it's time. And hoping the international community assists, if not leads, the effort.

    January 18, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  6. Denise Barlow

    It may take 10 years to rebuild Haiti but keep in mind other external things that could happen to this country. As mentioned in a previous comment, hurricane season is only months away. We can only pray that Haiti and it's people will be spared. I'm thankful to see lives being saved amid the rubble of this devastating earthquake. Miracles are starting to happen. That's a good sign.

    Thank you Anderson and CNN for the fantastic coverage. All of you are doing an incredible job.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:58 am |
  7. Tammy

    As an avid CNN follower, I am disappointed in your coverage of not acknowledging all the other countries who are helping. As a Canadian, I know we have sent thousands of troops, naval ships, helicopters and food aid yet it seems like all we get from your reporting is what the U.S. is doing..Come on lets get some credit to the rest of the world helping in this humanitarian effort

    January 18, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  8. Isabel - Brazil.

    It is a great sadness that all this happened.

    At this stage it is important to save lives. Yesterday 5 people were found alive! And that brings hope!
    But then, the important thing is to try to return to normal life as much as possible.

    CNN is to be congratulated for the incredible job!

    January 18, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  9. soultravelers3

    It took over 10 years to rebuild in Santa Cruz, Ca after the 7+ earthquake in '89. I bet it takes longer in Haiti since there is even more devastation and chaos in Gov't.

    People don't realize how long these things take, long after it is off the first page. People visited us in SC, YEARS after the quake and were amazed at how "it looked like a war zone still".

    Please don't forget these people!

    January 18, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  10. michelot

    they need to accelerate the evacuation of the people from the disaster zone of Port au prince to some safer Provinces that are less affected. Keep up your good works.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  11. Mary Ann McPhaul


    How do we protect the Haitian's with only 8 months before the HURRICANE SEASON? what do we need to do first. With all the debrit this is a death trap.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  12. Tim Gibson

    It is of course well intended to go the path of what must be in the rebuilding of Haiti, yet we must not go beyond suggestions, to much active involvement into the landscape of Haiti could have a neg. outcome.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:53 am |
  13. Allen James

    We should uplift their spirits... the spirit to survive and start all over again...

    Be safe AC and the rest of the CNN correspondents and crews...

    January 18, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  14. Laura

    Keep up the excellent reporting – rivited to CNN

    January 18, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  15. Rachel

    Praying for Haiti ❤

    January 18, 2010 at 10:31 am |

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