SPECIAL REPORT | Haiti earthquake

Two years after an earthquake killed thousands of people in Haiti, the Caribbean country is still struggling to rebuild.

A look back, 2 years after disaster crippled Caribbean country

Two years after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake killed thousands of people in Haiti, the impoverished Caribbean country is still struggling to rebuild what even before the disaster was woefully inadequate infrastructure.

While some of the 1.5 million people displaced by the Jan. 12, 2010, quake that struck near the town of Léogâne, 25 kilometres west of the capital, Port-au-Prince, have returned home, about one-third continue to live in temporary camps.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that as of December 2011, 550,560 people were still living in temporary settlements.

The Haitian government reckons 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings and 80 per cent of schools in the capital region were destroyed or severely damaged in the earthquake. Even before the earthquake destroyed much of the building stock in and around Port-au-Prince, housing and infrastructure were inadequate and in short supply, which has made the recovery effort all the more daunting.

The Humanitarian Coalition, an umbrella group of Canadian aid organizations such as Oxfam and Care, estimates that about five million cubic metres, or half of the rubble the quake left behind, has been cleared to date.

Estimates of the number of people killed have varied widely — from as low as 46,000 to as high as 316,000, which is the death toll given by the government of Haiti — but the UN has said that, overall, three million people were affected by the quake.

In the wake of the disaster, international donors pledged $4.5 billion in aid, a little more than half of which has been disbursed to date. In October 2010, recovery activities were hampered by a cholera outbreak that according to the Haitian government affected 513,997 people and killed 277,451.

Below is a survey of the impact of the devastating earthquake and some of the relief efforts launched in its wake.

Canadians in Haiti: Stories of loss and remembrance

Produced by CBC News, this award-winning interactive video series memorializes Canadians living or working in Haiti who were killed in the 2010 earthquake.

Haiti earthquake by the numbers:

  • 316,000 people killed (official estimate of Haitian government, but some experts have said the figure is much lower)
  • 300,572 people injured
  • 1,300 camps or "spontaneous settlements" erected (at peak of disaster)
  • 1.5 million people displaced (IOM estimate although a May 2011 USAID report cites 895,000 people)
  • 550,560 people still in settlement camps as of December 2011
  •  604,215 people left Port-au-Prince and the capital region (known as Département de l'Ouest).
  • 188,383 houses destroyed or badly damaged
  • 80 per cent of Port-au-Prince schools destroyed or damaged
  • 60 per cent of hospitals in the affected region destroyed or damaged

Shake zones: map of intensity of Jan. 12 earthquake

U.S. Geological Survey/Associated Press

News and feature coverage

David Common: Evaluating Haiti's fresh start

Interactive: Videos and photos of challenges facing Haitians

Interview: Human rights in Haiti

2 years on: Haiti faces host of problems

Haitian death toll less than thought: report

Profile: Jean-Bertrand Aristide — Haiti's former president returns home

Reporter's notebook: Paul Hunter reports on one-year anniversary of quake

Canadian helps Haiti rebuild — Newfoundlander Karen Huxter runs an orphanage and school in central Haiti

1 year later: Canadian celebs continue Haiti appeals, aid efforts

Legacy: Projects honouring Canadians who died in quake

Photo galleries

Hotel Montana: Repairs begin on Haitian capital's iconic hotel one year after quake

Baby Doc Duvalier: Former Haitian dictator returns from exile

Cholera outbreak: Scenes from a clinic treating Haitians suffering from cholera in October 2010

Tent cities: Temporary camps set up in wake of January 2010 earthquake

Presidential election: Haitians head to the polls in first post-quake election

Hurricane Tomas: Less than a year after quake, a hurricane adds to Haiti's woes