The magnitude 7 earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010 took place along what is called a strike-slip fault, where plates on each side of the fault line are moving in opposite directions. California's San Andreas Fault is a well-known example of a strike-slip fault. What has made the earthquake in Haiti so deadly is that buildings in this impoverished country were not built to withstand heavy shaking. Adding to the devastation, the earthquake was shallow – only about nine miles below the surface –and near the densely-populated capital, Port-au -Prince. Below are comments about the quake from experts at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory:
The Northern Caribbean has been hit by many earthquakes greater than magnitude 5 since 1964. The gray dots show the immediate aftershocks from the Jan. 12 quake. Blue circles show shallow earthquakes, within 25 km of the surface.
Credit: Geoff Abers/LDEO
The Caribbean is Vulnerable to Earthquakes
ABC Tiempo, Jan. 24, 2010
Could it happen here: U.S. Fault Lines
ABC, Good Morning America, Jan. 18, 2010
After the Destruction: What Will It Take to Rebuild Haiti?
Time, Jan 16, 2010
Seismologist Points to Regions Prone to Mega-Quakes
CBS News, Jan. 16, 2010
Scientists: Haiti vulnerable for more quakes
The Journal News, Jan. 16, 2010
Earthquake threat lurks for US, too
Live Science, Jan. 15, 2010
Haiti Earthquake, Deforestation Heighten Landslide Risk
National Geographic, Jan. 15, 2010
Abject Poverty Made Forecasts Useless in Haiti
Philadelphia Metro , Jan. 15, 2010
What We Did Wrong
Newsweek, Jan. 14, 2010
Haiti Earthquake: Why So Much Damage? ABC News, Jan. 14, 2010
Haiti shantytown’s a city of the dead
New York Post, Jan. 14, 2010
What Caused The Haiti Quake?
Leonard Lopate Show, WNYC, Jan. 13, 2010
Haitian Quake Not A Surprise To Geologists
NPR, Jan. 13, 2010
Haiti Quake: What Happened?
MSNBC-TV Dylan Ratigan Show, Jan. 13, 2010