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Posts Tagged ‘haiti quake update’

Haiti Earthquake Disaster – Update 14 Jan

Posted by feww on January 14, 2010

The Haiti earthquake is the worst disaster, so far, to strike the poverty-stricken nation

The casualty figures, both the dead and injured are very high.


Blood flows along the street in the aftermath of an earthquake in Port-au-Prince January 13, 2010.  Credit:  REUTERS/Joel Trimble. Images may be subject to copyright.

Highlights of News Reports:

  • Large sections of the capital Port-au-Prince have been destroyed. Also many schools, hospitals and other buildings have collapsed.
  • Haiti’s Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive says more than 100,000 people may have been killed as a result of Tuesday’s earthquake, though he did not explain how he had arrived at that figure. [FEWW Moderators believe this figure is highly exaggerated. More on this later.]
  • Brazilian child rights activist Zilda Arns and Port-au-Prince’s Archbishop Serge Miot have been killed in the earthquake.
  • UN Secretary-General BanKi-moon said 11 Brazilian peacekeepers and five international police officers (three Jordanian and one each from Argentina and Chad – were killed in the quake.
  • Brazil’s military said 14 of its soldiers had been killed in the quake.
  • Up to 150 UN staff, including the mission chief and his deputy are still unaccounted for.
  • Eye witness news reports say many sidewalks are lined with corpses covered with white sheets.
  • UNDP said 38 of its staff are unaccounted for.
  • Many Haitians are spending a second night out in the open where they feel safer from the danger of aftershocks.

A few technical details:


Click image to enlarge.

  • Haiti earthquake occurred as a result of friction between the Caribbean plate and the North America plate. The plates boundary in the region “is dominated by left-lateral strike slip motion and compression, and accommodates about 20 mm/y slip, with the Caribbean plate moving eastward with respect to the North America plate.” USGS/EHP reported.
  • “At the longitude of the January 12 earthquake, motion between the Caribbean and North American plates is partitioned between two major east-west trending, strike-slip fault systems — the Septentrional fault system in northern Haiti and the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault system in southern Haiti.”
  • “The location and focal mechanism of the earthquake are consistent with the event having occurred as left-lateral strike slip faulting on the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault system. This fault system accommodates about 7 mm/y, nearly half the overall motion between the Caribbean plate and North America plate.”
  • “The Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault system has not produced a major earthquake in recent decades. The EPGFZ is the likely source of historical large earthquakes in 1860, 1770, 1761, 1751, 1684, 1673, and 1618, though none of these has been confirmed in the field as associated with this fault. ” USGS/EHP said.

Energy Released by Haiti Earthquake was about a half of the estimated impact energy released in forming the 1.2-km diameter Meteor Crater [Barringer Crater] in Arizona

  • FEWW moderators estimate that the energy released by the Haiti earthquake was about 5.3 exp 15 joules [5.3 petajoules, 5.3 x 10^15J] or the equivalent of about 1.35 megatons of TNT. [Estimated energy released by the Hiroshima atom bomb was 15 kilotons, making the Haiti quake about 90 times stronger. See earthquake energy table.]

Related Links:

For More Information Visit Haiti Earthquake Disaster Links Page!

Posted in Caribbean plate, Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault system, Haiti quake aftermath, North America plate, PORT-AU-PRINCE | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Haiti quake catastrophe – Update Jan 13

Posted by feww on January 13, 2010

Port-au-Prince Quake May Be the Last Straw for the Disaster-Stricken Haiti

FEWW Forecast: Another Major Earthquake Could Strike the Region Soon with a Probability of 60% [P ≥ 0.55]

FEWW Comment: The timing of this event may have been particularly “lucky” for the survivors of Haiti earthquake.

First, the event occurred at 04:53:09 pm local time when large numbers of people would have been outdoors.

Second, the earthquake occurred on land. An offshore quake could have generated a major tsunami that would have worsened the extent of the catastrophe.

FEWW Initial  Estimate of EQ casualties

However, the moderators believe up to 20,000 people may have been killed or injured as a result of the Haitian catastrophe caused by the earthquake and its aftershocks.

See also main entry for FEWW earthquake forecast:  Haiti Quake Causes Widespread Death, Destruction

Highlights of reports and eye-witness accounts as the full extent of the Haiti quake catastrophe unfolds:

  • The full scale of the catastrophe has yet to emerge.
  • The poorest country in the western hemisphere, Haiti hadn’t even remotely recovered from the destructive hurricanes in 2008.
  • About 80 percent of Haiti’s 10 million population live on the equivalent of less than $2 a day.  The capital Port-au-Prince is home to about 2 million people [officially 1.2 million population,]  many of whom live in densely populated shanty towns, locally referred to as bidonvilles.
  • Haiti was devastated by four storms two years ago, which left up to a thousand people dead,  destroyed some 15 percent of the national economy, and cost the nation about $1 billion in damage.
  • Haiti’s Presidential Palace has collapsed.


Presidential Palace. Top: Before the quake. Bottom: After. Credit: AP and AFP. Images may be subject to copyright.

The Headquarters of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), a five-story  building, has collapsed

  • Many UN staff are missing following yesterday’s quake quake.
  • Eight Chinese peacekeepers were killed in the earthquake and that 10 others are missing, the China Daily newspaper reported.
  • “The United Nations can confirm that the Headquarters of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) in Port-au-Prince has sustained serious damage along with other UN installations,” the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations said. “For the moment, a large number of personnel remain unaccounted for.”
  • Many buildings have collapsed or seriously damaged throughout the capital, Port-au-Prince. AP reported that a hospital had collapsed.
  • The mainshock struck about 370 km ESE of a M8.0 quake which struck about 65 km off the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic in 1946. The large earthquake was followed by a major M7.6 aftershock.
  • Port-au-Prince was reportedly shrouded in a blanket of dust for about 20 minutes after the earthquake struck.
  • Both Haiti and the Dominican Republic occupy the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago.
  • The most powerful earthquake to strike Haiti part of Hispaniola island occurred 200 years ago. About a dozen or so powerful earthquakes have struck Haiti side of the Hispaniola in the past 5 centuries.
  • The earthquake was also felt on the Dominican side of Hispaniola island, where residents reportedly fled from shaking buildings.
  • According to reports up to quarter of all buildings in Jacmel, another Haitian city [population 50,000,] have been  destroyed. More than 10 percent of the residents had moved to Jacmel airport seeking shelter.
  • The catastrophe will affect most of Haiti’s estimated 10 million population.
  • As of posting, 34 aftershocks measuring magnitude 4.5 or greater have been reported by USGS/EHP.

Related Links:

Please help the victims, if you can. There are many ways to help the surviving victims. But donate money only to the organizations that you know and trust.

For More Information Visit Haiti Earthquake Disaster Links Page!

Posted in 30046144, bidonvilles, earthquake, earthquake update | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »