2021 earthquakes

In the morning of August 14, 2021, two earthquakes struck the southern peninsula along the same fault line (Enriquillo-Plantain Garden) as 2010’s earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince, Leogane, and surrounding areas. Haitian seismologists warned then that the 7.2 earthquake released very little pressure, rendering the fault line a seismic hazard, a ticking time bomb. Saturday’s two quakes with multiple shocks were just over 100 kilometers west of the 2010 earthquake. The first, to the north of Nippes, measured 6.9 on the Richter scale, and the second by St. Louis du Sud measured 7.2. According to Haiti’s Department of Civil Protection, the death toll was 1,297 as of Sunday afternoon.

Since 2010, for many, Haiti has been synonymous with “earthquake.” As for people in Haiti, they need not be reminded of “douz janvye” – January 12 – and the international aid response, as the country is still scarred by the humanitarian aftershocks, what Raoul Peck called “Fatal Assistance.” Haiti is a graveyard of failed NGO projects scattered across the land, tattered signs like tombstones. Perhaps no better a symbol of the crumbling of Haitian sovereignty is the national palace, still not rebuilt. 

This page is an attempt to archive and pull together tools for those who are seeking a truly Haitian solution, to learn from Haitian people’s experience and apply lessons learned. This page is co-curated by anthropologist K. Jessica Hsu, whose engagement in Haiti spans decades, from rural areas in Abricots to international organizations.

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