A 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes Haiti on Tuesday, 12th of January 2010 at 16.53 local time (21.53 GMT). The earthquake occurred in Port-au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti. The focus of the earthquake was 13 km below the surface of the earth.
The earthquake was caused by the North American Plate sliding past the Caribbean Plate at a conservative plate margin. Both plates moved in the same direction, but on plate moves faster than the other. Friction between the 2 plates creates pressure to build up and eventually it was released causing a 7.0 magnitude earthquake on the Richter Scale, with an epicenter 16 miles west of Port-au-Prince. Effects
There were primary effects that were caused directly by the earthquake, and secondary effects, results from primary effects. Primary Effects
* 316,000 people were killed, 1 million people were made homeless and 3 million people were affected by the earthquake * 250,000 homes and 30,000 other buildings, including the President’s Palace and 60% of government buildings, were either destroyed or badly damaged * Transport and communications links were also badly damaged by the earthquake * Hospitals and schools were badly damages, as was the airport’s control tower * The main prison was destroyed and 4,000 immates escaped Secondary Effects
* 1 in 5 people lost their jobs because so many buildings were destroyed. Haiti’s largest industry, clothing was one of the worst affected * The large number of deaths meant that hospitals and morgues became full and bodies then had to be piled up on the streets * The large number of bodies meant that diseases, especially cholera, became a serious problem * It was difficult getting aid into the area because of issues at the airport and generally poor management of the situation * People were squashed into shanty towns or onto the streets because their homes had been destroyed...