Major earthquake strikes Haiti

by mdr on Jan. 12th, 2010

A strong 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the island nation of Haiti today at 21:53 UTC. Several buildings have been reported damaged, and a tsunami alert for the Caribbean region has been issued. The initial death toll is reported in the dozens, but that number is expected to rise as rescue workers dig through the rubble. Here's a report from the Associated Press:

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ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

You can read more about the Earthquake in Haiti here

posted on Tue, 01/12/2010 - 10:50pm
mdr's picture
mdr says:

The latest reports coming out of Haiti say the quake lasted about 1 minute and was the largest ever recorded in the region. Its epicenter was located about 10 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, the capital city where some 2 million people were crammed together in less than ideal living conditions. The quake was relatively shallow, occurring along a slip-fault 5 miles beneath the surface, which makes it potentially more damaging. Most buildings in the city are made of concrete block which no doubt has added to casualties. There are reports of fires everywhere, and that the center of the city has been destroyed.

posted on Tue, 01/12/2010 - 11:41pm
bryan kennedy's picture

The USGS has a summary of the geological reasons for this earthquake. The island of Hispaniola (the western third is Haiti, the eastern two thirds are the Dominican Republic) sits near a major fault boundary between the North American plate and the Caribbean plate. The Caribbean plate is generally moving to the East and as a result faults develop along its northern boundary from it's "slipping" along the edge of the North American plate, which essentially ain't goin' no where. Port-au-Prince sits right on top of one of these faults. This earthquake was the result of slippage along that fault. At least, that's what I could surmise from some quick reading. Please jump in and correct me, geologists.

I'm working on a larger post about the geology of the Haitian earthquake, but I'm having to dig out some pretty rusty geology knowledge to read through the mostly technical articles on this region. In the meantime, if people are interested in some further reading...

http://sofia.usgs.gov/publications/reports/mgs_maurrasse1982/index.html
http://bulletin.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/content/abstract/80/9/1639
http://bit.ly/4Ryz8a
http://gsabulletin.gsapubs.org/content/81/9/2855.short

posted on Wed, 01/13/2010 - 2:28pm
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

Why is Haiti so poor?
Read about Haiti's history and why Haiti is so poor by clicking these links.

posted on Thu, 01/14/2010 - 10:19am
Sarah's picture
Sarah says:

Google Earth has been updated to show the most recent satellite imagery of Haiti, which gives you a good look at how widespread the destruction is. You can read more and see the images on the Google Maps & Google Earth team blog.

posted on Thu, 01/14/2010 - 1:14pm
Donate For Haiti's picture

The earthquake in Haiti was a 7.0 in magnitude & it was like final punch for a country whish is already poor & effete .
We should contribute to them as much as we can.

posted on Fri, 01/29/2010 - 7:31am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Hattie had 2 affter shocks and my jr. high schools doing something about it!!!!!:)))

posted on Fri, 01/29/2010 - 2:33pm

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