The 2010 quake caused over 100,000 structures to crumble and created enough rubble to fill five football stadiums. At the time, Haiti had no quake-resistant building codes or in-depth understanding of its vulnerability.

The Haitian government recommends that builders follow earthquake-resistant standards. But because Parliament has not voted on a national building code, there is no way to enforce it in construction, like at this apartment building going up in Port-au-Prince.

Ten years ago, when Haiti was hit by its worst natural disaster in more than a century, the country didn’t have its own earthquake surveillance network.

It does now. The problem is, the 10 foreign-trained quake monitors who work there can’t stay in the building that houses the unit overnight because it is not earthquake resistant, and even if it were, there isn’t enough money to pay anyone to spend the night.

When the ground shakes again, they’ll have to run out of the facility’s only exit.

“Am I scared? Well, that’s the job. I have to do it,” said Claude Prépetit, 68, Haiti’s foremost earthquake expert and as close as the country gets to having an in-country seismologist. “The conditions are not ideal … but we have to do it. We have an entire nation that’s waiting on us to give them information.” Continue reading

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