Assignment on the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti Essay

Each twelvemonth, the motion of Earth ‘s tectonic home bases are “responsible for about 30 000 temblors per twelvemonth that are strong plenty to be felt.” ( Clark, et. Al. 2006, P. 111. ) Recently, on the afternoon of January 12, 2010, an temblor with a magnitude of 7.0 hit the hapless Caribbean state of Haiti. The temblor was reported to be the strongest to hold hit the country in over 200 old ages. ( Than, 2010. ) This caused major devastation and desolation in the affected countries. Reports stated that between five and 13 aftershocks followed the chief temblor, with one every bit powerful as 5.9. ( CTV News Staff, 2010. )

To better understand this temblor, its causes need to be understood. As we know, the Earth is made of three chief beds – the nucleus, mantle, and crust. In 1915, Alfred Wegner proposed his theory of Continental impetus. This theory was revised and was so called home base tectonics. The theory of home base tectonics province that the crust is made up of about 20 home bases. It is said that they move due to unequal distribution of heat within the Earth ‘s nucleus that causes convection currents in the mantle, which moves the home bases. As these home bases move, they interact with one another and can do ridges, trenches, vents, temblors, and many more land formation. In the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, the Caribbean Plate moved eastward against the North American Plate, making strike-slip mistakes. ( Than, 2010. ) The emphasis along these mistake lines built up until it reached a certain point, and it released explosions of energy, which caused the temblors, every bit good as the aftershocks. Since Haiti is really near to the boundary of the two home bases, some “fault lines linked to the home bases ‘ motions run right through the state, ” which caused the temblor ‘s epicenter to be really near to the state taking to overpowering sums of harm. ( Than, 2010. )

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When an temblor occurs, there are by and large two Numberss that are measured. They are the magnitude and strength. Magnitude is defined as the “amount of energy released during an earthquake.” ( Haneberg, 2008. ) The Richter Magnitude Scale normally measures the magnitude of an temblor. Intensity is defined as the “effect of an temblor on the Earth ‘s surface.” ( USGS, 2009 ) The Modified Mercalli Intensity ( MMI ) Scale measures strength. The MMI measuring alterations from location to location because it is more about the effects of the temblor at the specific location. Please note that the Richter Magnitude value is normally given in Arabic numbers to the ten percent denary topographic point, while the MMI value is given in Roman numbers. The effects and frequences of temblors are given based on the magnitude ( UPSeis, 2009 ) and strength graduated tables ( Louis, 2009 ) .

Modified Mercalli Intensity ( MMI ) Scale

Intensity Effect

  • Peoples do non experience any Earth motion.
  • A few people may detect motion if at remainder and/or on the upper floors of tall edifices.
  • Many people indoors feel motion. Hanging objects swing back and Forth. Peoples out-of-doorss might non recognize that an temblor is happening.
  • Most people indoors feel motion. Hanging objects swing. Dishes, windows, and doors rattle. The temblor feels like a heavy truck hitting the walls. A few people out-of-doorss may experience motion. Parked autos stone.
  • About everyone feels motion. Sleeping people are awakened. Doors swing unfastened or close. Dishs are broken. Pictures on the wall move. Small objects move or are turned over. Trees might agitate. Liquids might slop out of unfastened containers.
  • Everyone feels motion. Peoples have problem walking. Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall off walls. Furniture moves. Plaster in walls might check. Trees and shrubs shake. Damage is slight in ill built edifices. No structural harm.
  • Peoples have trouble standing. Drivers feel their autos agitating. Some furniture interruptions. Loose bricks fall from edifices. Damage is little to chair in well-built edifices ; considerable in ill built edifices.
  • Drivers have problem guidance. Houses that are non bolted down might switch on their foundations. Tall constructions such as towers and chimneys might writhe and fall. Well-built edifices suffer little harm. Ill built constructions suffer terrible harm. Tree subdivisions break. Hillsides might check if the land is wet. Water degrees in Wellss might alter.
  • Well-built edifices suffer considerable harm. Houses that are non bolted down travel off their foundations. Some belowground pipes are broken. The land clefts. Reservoirs suffer serious harm.
  • Most edifices and their foundations are destroyed. Some Bridgess are destroyed. Dams are earnestly damaged. Large landslides occur. Water is thrown on the Bankss of canals, rivers, lakes. The land cracks in big countries. Railway paths are dead set somewhat.
  • Most edifices prostration. Some Bridgess are destroyed. Large clefts appear in the land. Underground grapevines are destroyed. Railway paths are severely dead set.
  • ( Based on Federal Emergency Management Agency ( FEMA ) paperss )

    The epicenter of this temblor was located about 25 km west-southwest of Port-au-Prince ( the capital of Haiti ) as shown in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2. ( CTV News Staff, 2010. ) This temblor effected many countries, but Haiti ‘s capital ( Port-au-Prince ) was effected the most. This was because of many grounds. Some of them include high population, propinquity to epicentre of temblor, and low quality of constructions. All of these grounds caused much devastation in Port-au-Prince.

    The temblor was besides felt in neighboring states of the Dominican Republic, every bit good as Cuba. Of class, since they are located further off from the epicenter of the temblor, the strength and harm was less at that place.

    In the Western hemisphere, Haiti is known to be the least-developed state. ( CTV News Staff, 2010. ) Most of the people populating in Haiti are in poorness. Their places and edifices were non built to defy temblors. When the temblor occurred, many were caught by surprise and were unprepared. Due to the temblor, 1000s are dead, and many more are injured. I hope that Haiti and its subsisters are assisted by the full universe, so they can hold brighter hereafters. I besides hope we learn from this event, and lessen the impact by constructing constructions that are more stable and holding a better warning system.


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