How much damage did the earthquake do in Haiti?

The damage caused by the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010 has been estimated at about $14 billion. Over three million people were affected and up to two million left homeless. The estimated death toll, a month after the event, was given at around 230,000.

It has been estimated that around 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings suffered severe damage or complete collapse. In the city of Léogâne alone, it was estimated that 90% of the buildings were damaged. Around half of the 16,500 or so schools in Haiti were damaged, along with the three main universities in Port-au-Prince. Public and government buildings such as the finance ministry, the ministry of education, ministry of public works, ministry of communication and culture and the Supreme Court building were damaged.

Hospitals, museums and transportation facilities including ports, airports, roads and bridges, suffered extensive damage. Basic sanitation infrastructure was destroyed, leading to unhygienic conditions and a lack of clean drinking water. Factories were damaged, which would have a run-on effect for the economy. Because communication networks and infrastructure such as telephone and radio towers and networks were also affected, this delayed the news of the catastrophe, slowing down overseas response and aid to Haiti. This was one of the factors that contributed to the severity of the damage and the high death toll.

Haiti's ecosystem seems to have suffered little damage. There was an oil spill, but it has not significantly affected the country's coastline. The damage would have been worse had it been Haiti's rainy season, when landslides and mudslides would have caused further damage.

Haiti is an extremely poor country, and the earthquake worsened conditions in a country already on the brink of economic collapse. Looting increased property loss and, long term, there will be more social problems as people feel the effects of loss of friends and relatives, and property.

For specific details on the amount of damage done, see the related link.