The temperature had been 28 degrees celsius average, with 137cm of rainfall average each year. This climate means that soil is often damp and therefore prone to moving easily.
The Caribbean plate moved east while the North American plate moved west. A large movement in the north section of the Caribbean plate occurred, causing the earthquake. Rocks break when the tension is released, which is what then causes the damage.
The earthquake was shallow, and the plates hadn’t shifted for years. The plate boundary ran through the capital, Port au Prince.
The epicenter was very close to Port au Prince, while the focus was not far underground.
Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, so was ill equiped for this situation. Building quality was awful- and they lacked infrastructure. They had poor architecture, and many buildings were made of low quality concrete blocks.Roo
Roofs easily collapsed, trapping people underneath. Many houses were on slopes, causing slips.