Massive Haitian earthquake damage; aid requirements tremendous
7.0 magnitude earthquake has altered the lives of over three million people
Reports indicate that the Haiti earthquake death toll may reach into the thousands. The United States, United Nations, European Union, France, Netherlands, Canada, Germany, Iceland, Britain, the Inter-American Development Bank and various other agencies are all offering Haitian earthquake aid in the form of food, medical supplies and services, cash advance and other sundries. Musician Wyclef Jean has even offered help. This earthquake is truly a tragedy that has brought the world community together. Natural disasters of this nature are among the most destructive incidents imaginable, and Haitian relief organizations will be stretched to the limit.
From where did the Haitian earthquake originate?
According to Fox News, the quake came from a fault line that runs straight through the island nation. The tectonic plate sits on the boundary between the Caribbean and North American. These two plates move about .8 inches per year, which amounts to about 20 millimeters. However, geophysicist Carrieann Bedwell told the news agency that this small movement didn’t result in the massive 7.0 quake. Instead, it was a “release of energy” from the Enriquillo-Plaintain Garden fault system. The 7.0 magnitude earthquake was the largest they’d felt in 200 years.
While thorough records throughout history of earthquakes are scant, it is believed that the largest earthquake in history that we know of occurred in 1556 A.D. in Shaanxi, China. An estimated 830,000 people were killed then.
Understanding earthquake magnitude
Earthquake magnitude is expressed on a logarithmic scale, so a 7.0 releases 10 times more energy than a 6.0 earthquake. The magnitude is “the strength of shaking produced by the earthquake at a certain location and is determined from the effects that shaking has on people, structures and the environment,” according to the news agency’s geophysics source. The depth of the recent earthquake was only 6.2 miles beneath the surface, which means the energy was very close to the surface.
Shaking was more intense and longer in duration that it would have been if it had come from deeper in the ground. This added to the devastation we’ve witnessed. And aftershocks are surely on the way, as are mudslides. Thankfully, scientists who spoke with Fox do not predict a tsunami, as the quake originated entirely on land.
Personal Money Store hopes the cash advance and aid of the world will help the people of Haiti recover from this great tragedy. Haitian earthquake damage has been tremendous. May the healing begin.