Published January 14, 2015
Those who survived the Haitian earthquake are considered very lucky people, but in reality, luck had nothing to do with their survival, New York's Daily News reported.
Experts say that factors such as the person's "general health, how they were positioned while trapped and the extent of their injuries," were responsible whether a person survived or not.
Vincent Gawronski, a political science professor and disaster expert at Birmingham-Southern College, said if a person survived the quake, he or she was probably in a building that toppled over instead of pancaked.
"The earth shook differently for different people," Gawronski said. "If the building that you were in toppled, it created pockets of air where a person could survive. But in a pancaked building that collapsed one floor onto each other, there was no access to food or water, and no pockets of air for survival."
Gawronski said young children were more likely to survive because they are pliant.
Dr. Kent Holtorf, medical director at Holtorf Medical Group, said Haiti's high humidity may have helped some victims - dehydration does not happen as fast in areas of high humidity.
"At 90 degrees, you would die of dehydration in seven days and at 120 degrees, you would die in two days," Holtorf explains. "But if you add in the extra humidity, like in Haiti, you’re not losing water through your skin as quickly, and you can survive for an extra three to five days."