Disasters are almost never unexpected but they still catch us by surprise every time they happen. After the earthquake struck Haiti two and a half years ago it was obvious to anyone who knew the country a little that this was bound to happen. The capital Port-au-Prince was already in such a deplorable condition that any extreme natural phenomenon – whether an earthquake, a hurricane or days of heavy rain – would inevitably cause destruction and huge numbers of deaths. Things could have been even worse. A little over a year later an earthquake shook Japan, triggering a tsunami and the nuclear disaster in Fukushima. The earthquake was four times more powerful than the one in Haiti.
Wilfried Vyslozil, managing director of the German SOS Children's Villages assocation © SOS Archives