Disaster divided: Two countries, one island, life-and-death differences

(CNN)The hits never seem to end for Haiti. First there was the devastating earthquake in 2010, followed by a deadly cholera outbreak, and now the tiny country is reeling after Hurricane Matthew killed hundreds and displaced thousands.

Meanwhile, its neighbor -- the Dominican Republic -- has weathered similar disasters with vastly different results. How come the two countries fare so differently despite sharing the same island, Hispaniola?
Here are some key disparities between Haiti and Dominican Republic, which contribute to each country's ability to recover from natural and man-made disasters:

Geography

    Both countries are at risk for earthquakes and hurricanes. The map below shows what portions of Hispaniola Island lie on earthquake fault lines.
    The red shaded area shows earthquake fault lines in Haiti, while the yellow shows earthquake fault lines in the Dominican Republic.
    In 2004, Hurricane Jeanne made landfall at the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic. The flooding from Jeanne killed an estimated 3,000 people in Haiti, according to a report from the National Hurricane Center. Meanwhile, only 19 deaths were reported in the Dominican Republic.
    Though Hurricane Matthew didn't hit the Dominican Republic nearly as hard as it did Haiti, only four deaths were reported in DR, versus 300 and climbing across the border. Likewise, the earthquake in 2010 was felt across Hispaniola, but no one outside Haiti died.