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Is it safe to travel to Haiti?

After an earthquake which has caused 11 people to lose their lives, is it still safe to travel to the Caribbean island Haiti?

The capital of Haiti, Port au Prince has been hit by a deadly 5.8 magnitude earthquake which has destroyed homes, roads, lives and much more. The president of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse has confirmed the earthquake with the following statements:

  • “An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 has hit Haiti.”
  • “According to the first reports by the Civil Protection, there is damage in the far North of the Island.”
  • “I am working closely with authorities for an appropriate response."
  • “The Civil Protection agency added: "Our teams from north to south are witnessing a state of panic in some cities."

In 2010 Haiti was hit by an even stronger earthquake, the strongest to ever hit the island, the country was devastated by the 7.3 magnitude quake. This earthquake caused at least 52 aftershocks within the first 12 days, all these shocks measured 4.5 magnitude or higher.

It’s estimated that this earthquake affected over 3 million people, killing more than 220,000 and leaving over 300,000 people injured. This was the biggest earthquake the region had seen in over 200 years.

This earthquake produced 2 deadly tsunamis reaching over 3 meters in height, with the most recent 2018 earthquake being so close to the shore there’s a chance that a tsunami could follow.

Here’s the FCDO’s advice on natural disasters in Haiti:

  • “Emergency services are ill equipped to cope with a major disaster. Should a hurricane strike Haiti, basic services such as transport and communications are likely to be severely disrupted.”
  • “There are occasional earthquakes in Haiti. The most significant in recent years hit Haiti in 2010 causing mass casualties and extensive damage to infrastructure in the Port au Prince area.”
  • “If a major earthquake occurs close to shore, you should follow the instructions of the local authorities, bearing in mind that a tsunami could arrive within minutes.”
Read up on the full Haiti FCDO travel advice