2010 Haiti Earthquake

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The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic disaster; the earthquake measured 7.0 on the Richter scale. Its epicenter was near the town of Léogâne, approximately 25 km west of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. The earthquake occurred on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010. By January 24th, at least 52 aftershocks had been recorded, most measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale. The ground shook vigorously for nearly two minutes. The quake caused major damage to Port-au-Prince, and other towns in the region. Several notable buildings were significantly damaged or destroyed. Many countries responded to appeals for aid, pledging funds and dispatching rescue and medical teams. Various communication systems, along with air, land, and sea transportation services, hospitals, and electrical networks had been damaged by the earthquake, which got in the way of rescue efforts; confusion over who was in charge, air traffic crowding, and problems with arranging flights also hindered early relief work. Port-au-Prince's morgues were quickly overwhelmed; as rescues trailed off, supplies, medical care and sanitation became more important. Delays in supplies delivery led to angry appeals from aid workers and survivors, and some looting and random violence occurred (Faris).

Earthquakes are caused by tectonic plates shifting in the earth’s crust. The plates are large rock masses that cover earth’s surface and are constantly moving, either together or away from each other. When they move, they cause tremors in the crust, known as an earthquake. Earthquake magnitude is measured by the Richter scale, based on logarithms, where a quake measured at 3 is ten times worse than a quake measured at 2. The scale has no roof limit, so it can measure any quake regardless of how big it was (Adams).

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recorded eight aftershocks in the first two hours after the main earthquake, with magnitudes between 4.3 and 5.9. Within the first nine hours, 32 aftershocks of...
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