Essay about An Earthquake Of Haiti : Haiti

Essay about An Earthquake Of Haiti : Haiti

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An earthquake of magnitude 7.0 hit the island of Haiti on January 12, 2010, killing anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 people, injuring another 300,000 others, and leaving over 1.5 million without homes (Fleddermann, 2012, p.116). The majority of the destruction and human toll occurred in Port au Prince, the capital city of Haiti, although the effects of the earthquake were spread throughout the island. Aside from the many people who died, were injured, or left homeless, those involved in this disaster are the Haitian government, the United Nations, civil engineers, the press, relief organizations, and the United States. Although initially perceived as simply a natural disaster, it becomes apparent through further research that the degree of loss experienced might have been lessened if certain procedures and codes were in place and followed to increase the safety and integrity of the buildings in Haiti.

In Haiti, building codes and regulations are all but nonexistent, so the minimum safety standard is not sufficient for people to be dwelling in the buildings. Since there is not a lot of wood available due to deforestation, concrete is the primary building material used for most of the structures, according to Alan Dooley, a Nashville architect (Fountain, 2010). Concrete is costly and the cement used in the concrete for Haiti is made in the United States. In order to curb some of the costs, Dooley says, some contractors add more sand to the cement mix. However, this makes the concrete structurally weaker and it deteriorates more quickly than structurally sound concrete. Steel reinforcing bars are typically used with concrete but are also expensive and thus are used less with concrete in Haiti.

Concrete blocks are another material u...


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...dness, compromising the happiness of everyone affected. Conclusively, our general maxim fails Kant’s Test and thus cannot be willed to be a universal law.

While the disaster that was the 2010 earthquake in Haiti was not completely dependent upon the poor choices on behalf of those engineering the buildings since Haiti lacked the required financial resources, the low-quality materials used in the buildings and the failure to implement any engineering standards made the aftermath of the earthquake worse than what it could have been. My advice to future and current engineers is to always do the best you can with what you are given and always follow the engineering standards that have been set and are accepted internationally. I would also say do not be afraid to ask for help if needed, especially financially, for the safety of the public should always be held paramount.

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