On January 12, 2010, Haiti was struck by an earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince and many other parts of the country. The result: over 220,000 dead and 300,000 injured. In the affected area, half of all homes collapsed or were severely damaged. Why did this earthquake take such a heavy toll, when its magnitude was actually lower than that of other major quakes around the world? Is it possible to rebuild this impoverished country so that residents are better protected from natural hazards in future? What are the scientific and technical challenges to reconstruction?