Houses and other buildings crumbled to the ground when an earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010. As many as 1.6 million people were forced to live in sprawling tent cities like this one.

Photograph by Sarah Yelvington, MyShot
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    On January 12, 2010, an earthquake struck near the town of Legoane, Haiti. The earthquake devastated the tiny Caribbean nation, causing more than 100,000 deaths and displacing a million people.
    Poor infrastructure is sometimes blamed for the catastrophic impact. Thousands were killed when buildings in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince collapsed. A small, localized tsunami also tore through many buildings on the coast.
    Years later, thousands of Haitians remain homeless, living in “tent cities” in Port-au-Prince. The Haitian government, the World Bank, and many international organizations are working to help these internally displaced persons access clean water, food, schools, and employment.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    access Noun

    ability to use.

    capital Noun

    city where a region's government is located.

    Encyclopedic Entry: capital
    catastrophic Adjective

    very bad.

    city Noun

    large settlement with a high population density.

    coast Noun

    edge of land along the sea or other large body of water.

    Encyclopedic Entry: coast
    collapse Verb

    to fall apart completely.

    devastate Verb

    to destroy.

    earthquake Noun

    the sudden shaking of Earth's crust caused by the release of energy along fault lines or from volcanic activity.

    employment Noun

    job or work.

    government Noun

    system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

    impact Noun

    meaning or effect.

    infrastructure Noun

    structures and facilities necessary for the functioning of a society, such as roads.

    internally displaced person Noun

    someone forced to leave their local area, who has not left the country.

    international organization Noun

    unit made up of governments or groups in different countries, usually for a specific purpose.

    Encyclopedic Entry: international organization
    life expectancy Noun

    average number of years a person lives.

    tiny Adjective

    very small.

    tsunami Noun

    ocean waves triggered by an earthquake, volcano, or other movement of the ocean floor.

    World Bank Noun

    United Nations organization that loans money to poor and developing nations.