Earthquakes In Haiti

Good Essays
Six years ago, the country of Haiti was high by earthquake that killed thousands. The deaths occurred due to lack of infrastructure and warning of the earthquake and its 59 aftershocks. This occurred due to a transform movement between the Caribbean and North American plates ("Magnitude 7.0 - HAITI REGION", n.d.). If there had been more warning of this earthquake, potentially thousands of lives could have been saved. There are predictions based on historical earthquakes that can help scientists warn potentially affected areas, but there needs to be a better communication of this information to the citizens of Haiti. Since a majority of the deaths occurred due to building collapse, there should also be an influx of building codes and materials …show more content…
Plate tectonics theory is essentially that the earth made up of different plates that move and cause seismic activity like earthquakes (Tarbuck & Lutgens, 2015). Earthquakes occur on plate boundaries, which is the area between the many plates that make up the earth’s lithosphere. There are 3 types of plate boundaries: divergent, convergent and transform. Divergent is when plates move away from each other. Convergent are two plates that are being pressed together until one slips below another. Finally, Transform is when two plates slide against each other (Tarbuck & Lutgens, 2015). The earthquake in Haiti was due to a transform movement between Caribbean and North American plate ("Magnitude 7.0 - HAITI REGION", 2010). Even with all this information known about earthquakes, there is still not technology that can pinpoint when they will …show more content…
In 2010 Haiti was blindsided by the initial earthquake which was 7.0 magnitude and then 12 days later there were 59 aftershocks that measured a magnitude of 4.5 or greater ("M7.0 Haiti Anniversary", 2015). One of these aftershocks occurred 7 minutes after the main earthquake and it was a magnitude of 6.0 ("Magnitude 7.0 - HAITI REGION", 2010). Predicting the initial shock, and when the future aftershocks would occur could have saved thousands of lives that day. Even though years have passed since Haiti’s earthquake there have not been very many advancements in predicting earthquakes. There is paleoseismology which is the study of prehistoric earthquakes and use that information to infer when future earthquakes may occur. If scientists can locate seismic gaps, where there has not been much activity, they could predict if one may happen in the near future (Nelson, 2013). In the short term, scientists would have to actively monitor boundaries that are prone to activity, and look for precursor events like earthquakes that occur below the surface plates. Finally, there are P-wave warning systems that could warn surround areas of the incoming quake, moments before it occurs (Nelson, 2013). This is fairly dismal considering how unpredictable plate movement can be, and that it can occur at any time of day. The best way to handle an earthquake is to always be prepared for

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